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Keywords:

  • chronostratigraphy;
  • Quaternary;
  • Haifa Bay;
  • OSL;
  • palaeomagnetism;
  • inner shelf;
  • sea–land transition zone

Abstract

The current detailed chronostratigraphic framework of the last 1 Ma of an eastern Mediterranean sequence (Haifa Bay, Israel) aims to examine the relative roles of sea-level changes, climate and tectonics. Seven continuous marine cores, up to ∼120 m long, were recovered from shallow water depths. The cores were dated by optically stimulated luminescence, 14C, magnetostratigraphy, 230Th/234U, 26Al/10Be, occurrence of index fossils and correlated to the global sea-level curve and Marine Isotope Stages (MIS). The sedimentary sequence accumulated during the last ca. 1.0 Ma consists of 21 transgression–regression units with hiatuses between them. Five marine/terrestrial cycles, which occur in the lower part of the sequence, are attributed to the Jaramillo subchron and the Brunhes–Matuyama boundary, and correspond to MIS 29–21. The top ∼50 m includes three sedimentary cycles deposited in the last ca. 400 ka. The regressive phases during this interval correspond to Glacial MIS 8, 6 and 2, while the transgressions correspond to Interglacial MIS 11, 7, 5 and 1. Thus, for the first time, this study documents the longest Quaternary succession dated so far in a key area of the Levant, sensitive to global history of sea-level changes and glacial/interglacial fluctuations. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.