Late-Pleistocene evolution of the continental shelf of central Israel, a case study from Hadera

Gilad Shtienberg, Justin Dix, Nicolas Waldmann, Yizhaq Makovsky, Arik Golan, Dorit Sivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sea-level fluctuations are a dominant mechanism that control coastal environmental changes through time. This is especially the case for the successive regressions and transgressions over the last interglacial cycle, which have shaped the deposition, preservation and erosion patterns of unconsolidated sediments currently submerged on continental shelves. The current study focuses on creating an integrated marine and terrestrial geophysical and litho-stratigraphic framework of the coastal zone of Hadera, north-central Israel. This research presents a case study, investigating the changing sedimentological units in the study area. Analysis suggest these represent various coastal environments and were deposited during times of lower than present sea level and during the later stages of the Holocene transgression.A multi-disciplinary approach was applied by compiling existing elevation raster grids, bathymetric charts, one hundred lithological borehole data-sets, and a 110 km-long sub-bottom geophysical survey. Based on seismic stratigraphic analysis, observed geometries, and reflective appearances, six bounding surfaces and seven seismic units were identified and characterized. These seismic units have been correlated with the available borehole data to produce a chronologically constrained lithostratigraphy for the area. This approach allowed us to propose a relationship between the lithological units and sea-level change and thus enable the reconstruction of Hadera coastal evolution over the last ~. 100 ka. This reconstruction suggests that the stratigraphy is dominated by lowstand aeolian and fluvial terrestrial environments, subsequently transgressed during the Holocene. The results of this study provide a valuable framework for future national strategic shallow-water infrastructure construction and also for the possible locations of past human settlements in relation to coastal evolution through time.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 15 May 2016


  • Coastal and marine geology
  • Continental shelf
  • Israel
  • Late Pleistocene-Holocene sequence
  • Shallow geophysics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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