In and Out of the Salt: How to Overcome Stratigraphic Uncertainty in Evaporitic Systems? A Case Study from the MSC in the Deep Levant Basin

Aaron Meilijson, Jie Liu, Yizhaq Makovsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) has fascinated a globally wide and multi-disciplinary array of scientists, and has been at the focus of debate ever since the first DSDP’s penetrated the top of the deep-basin salt in the 1970’s. Yet, after more than 50 years of research, the MSC stratigraphy is still controversial. These questions and debates are recently being answered with the availability of new deep-basin data. In the first part of this project, we conducted a multi-disciplinary study of sedimentary and geophysical data from industrial offshore wells in the Levant Basin, which recovered a continuous sedimentary record of deep-basin Mediterranean evaporites deposited during the MSC. In two recent papers, we proposed a new stratigraphic framework for the MSC, namely establishing a ~300 kyr older age for the base of the salt, and it’s up section transition into clastic-anhydrite sedimentation. The parallel publication of Meilijson et al. (Geology 46:243–246, 2018) and Manzi et al. (Terra Nov 38:42–49, 2018) focused on the discussion regarding the MSC evolution in the deep Levant Basin, following the identification of a foraminifera barren interval (FBI) by the latter, not identified in our work. We hypothesized that the FBI may represent a localized short-lived depositional lobe, as opposed to a broad depositional period. Here, we used 3D seismic spectral decomposition analysis, which revealed amplitude anomalies at the base of salt reflection. These anomalies suggest the presence of thin depositional lobes, immediately underlying the base of salt, in the area reported as an FBI.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-72546-4
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation


  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Geophysics
  • MSC
  • Stratigraphy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Architecture
  • Environmental Chemistry


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