Abstract

New carbonate facies types are reported from the Cambrian Burj Fm. (Bilbilian) of the southern Dead Sea area (Jordan). They indicate the existence of a large low energy lagoon, with restricted water circulation and higher salinity, behind a high energy oolite shoal or shoal complex (back-barrier system). The transition between shoal and lagoon is marked by the interfingering of sediments from both environments, caused by washover events from the shoal into the lagoon behind. The lagoon itself was characterized by a low sedimentation rate and entire bioturbation. In a shoreward direction, the lagoonal facies changed into a microbial-dominated tidal or sabkha flat environment from which sediments were periodically reworked and redeposited into the lagoon. Comparison of our results with investigations of subsurface Cambrian deposits in southeastern and northern Jordan shows that lagoonal environments were the predominant carbonate production centres in this area during the short marine phase in the Cambrian of the Dead Sea area.

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