Major erosion at the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis: evidence from the Levant Basin, Eastern Mediterranean
C. Bertoni and J.A. Cartwright
Journal name: Basin Research
Issue: Vol 19, No 1, January 2007 pp. 1 - 18
Info: Article, PDF ( 5.8Mb )
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the top of the Messinian evaporites (Horizon M) in the Levant region, offshore Israel, based on the integration of three-dimensional (3D)/2D seismic and well data. 3Dmapping of a series of intra-evaporite horizons and their termination against HorizonM provides new insights into the depositional setting and structural evolution of this saline giant system. New evidence of a discordant relationship between the intra-evaporite horizons and the top of theMessinian evaporites (HorizonM) is given by the seismic stratigraphic analysis. This confirms that the top of the Messinian evaporites represents an erosional unconformity of semiregional extent in the Levant region. The truncation of the folded and faulted intra- evaporite horizons indicates for the first time a Messinian phase of evaporite deformation, i.e. pre-dating the well-documented Plio- Pleistocene thin- skinned tectonic phase in the region. This major erosional unconformity is interpreted as subaerial in origin, documenting the exposure of the evaporitic systemat the end of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. These results give new evidence for the understanding of the events occurring during the last stages of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in the region.