Abstract

A previously unreported easternmost segment of the Nile River deep-sea fan complex has been identified in the deep Levant Basin, offshore Israel, based mainly on a recently released, high-quality three-dimensional seismic data set. This segment is characterized by densely spaced seabed and subseabed turbidite channel complexes, generally fed from the region of the historically active northeastern Damietta and Pelusian branches of the Nile. This pattern suggests a previously unnoticeable symmetry in the modern channel distribution between the eastern and western branches of the deep-sea fan.

The base of the Nile's eastern deep-sea fan is determined by a NW-trending system of pre-Nile turbidite slope channels at the top of the Messinian evaporites. The overlying Pliocene–Holocene fan complex is further divided into two distinct stratigraphic units; a lower, stratified, sand-rich unit deposited in a basin-floor setting, and an upper heterogeneous, mud-rich unit consisting of downslope, mass transport, and hemipelagic sediments, with encased slope channel complexes richer in sand. Due to gravity gliding and spreading above the underlying thick, mobile Messinian salt, both stratigraphic units as well as the upper part of the Messinian salt layer are faulted and folded.

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