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Controls on Albian-Cenomanian Carbonate Platform Sedimentation in Middle Eastern Region: Kesalon Event, a Middle Cretaceous Sea Level Change in Israel and Its Correlation with Global Sea Level Changes

Moshe Braun, Francis Hirsch

After Neocomian regional denudation, Aptian Telemim (= Blanche) carbonates onlapped the Arabian subplate, followed by Yavne-Tammun regression and Albian transgression. Near the Levant coast, the Albianearly Coniacian Judea carbonate platform interfingers with the Talme Yaffe basin to the west. To the south and east, Judea-type carbonates gradually onlap the mainly continental Kurnub (Nubia type) clastics of the peri-Arabian belt.

Detailed analysis of the cyclic sedimentation within the 700-m thick Judea Limestone reveals a regressive trend near the top of the Albian Yagur Formation in Galilee, the Hevyon Formation in the Negev, and the ledge of the Kesalon Formation in central Israel Judean Hills, which represents the end of the Early Cretaceous sedimentary cycle. The early Cenomanian marly chalk of the En Yorqeam Formation starts the Cenomanian cycle, followed by bedded and massive dolomite and ammonoid-bearing limestone.

Platform sedimentation before this Kesalon event is dominated by bank facies with some rudistid bioherms of presumable Albian age. After the Kesalon event, Cenomanian and Turonian platforms have fast-changing paleogeography on basinal chalks, shales, bioherms and back-reef lagoons. Facies boundaries, running mainly east-west to southwest-northeast up to the Early Cretaceous, became close to north-south in the Late Cretaceous.

Albian-Cenomanian regressive-transgressive cycles in Israel match fairly well with global sea level changes, in particular the Kesalon event, which corresponds to the Ka-Kb sea level change of Vail et al.

Late Turonian-early Senonian thrusting of the peri-Arabian alpine belt and folding in the Syrian arc heavily affect the unraveling of global sea level changes on the Arabian subplate.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.