Chronologies of late Quaternary coral reefs and lake sediments from the Red Sea and Dead Sea rift valley

Mordechai Stein, Boaz Lazar, Adi Torfstein, Steven L. Goldstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Lacustrine sediments from the hypersaline and freshwater lakes filling the tectonic depressions along the Dead Sea rift valley archive the environmental history (hydrology, climate, seismicity) of the southern Levant. Deciphering the structure and rates of processes underlying this history comparison and integration with regional and global environmental archives require precise and high–resolution chronologies. We describe the application of U-Th disequilibrium method to the dating of late Pleistocene coral reefs and lake sediments. This method was combined with oxygen isotope stratigraphy to establish the Amora, Samra and Lisan Formations chronologies in the Dead Sea basin. During glacials lake levels rose while during interglacial they receded. These general pattern were interrupted by abrupt aridity at times of the glacial Heinrich events (HE) in the northern Atlantic (e.g. HE4 ~39 ka) and intrusions of wetness from southern sources at times of enhanced monsoon activity in the Nile River sources and sapropels at the Mediterranean Sea during the interglacial peaks (e.g. sapropel S5 at ~129-121 ka).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuaternary of the Levant
Subtitle of host publicationEnvironments, Climate Change, and Humans
EditorsY. Enzel, O. Bar-Yosef
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781316106754
ISBN (Print)9781107090460
StatePublished - 2017


  • Marine sediments -- Dead Sea (Israel and Jordan)
  • Marine sediments -- Red Sea
  • Coral reefs and islands -- Israel
  • Paleogeography -- Quaternary


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