The Cretaceous Talme Yafe Formation: a contour current shaped sedimentary prism of calcareous detritus at the continental margin of the Arabian Craton



The Cretaceous (Albian-Turonian) Talme Yafe Formation is a huge prismshaped accumulation (more than 3000 m thick, about 20 km wide, and at least 150 km long) of calcareous detritus at the northwest continental margin of the Arabian Craton (Israel). Its sources of clastic material are biochemical carbonates and skeletal fragments derived from rudistid reefs deposited on the wide epicontinental platform located east of the accumulation site. Transport of the material from the shelf platform over the edge onto the slope was probably done by storms and by tidal and seasonal currents. Downslope movement was by nepheloid layers and by gravity-induced currents (turbidity currents?) whereas contour currents are considered the main dispersing and shaping agent active on the slope proper. No clear-cut evidence indicating turbidites was perceived; however, they would be expected to be found west of the study area, on the abyssal plain where they are usually ponded.