Triassic Paleogeography of Southern Israel and the Sinai Peninsula

  • Yehezkeel Druckman
Conference paper
Part of the Schriftenreihe der Erdwissenschaftlichen Kommissionen book series (ERDWISSENSCHAFT, volume 2)


The Triassic sequence in Israel is represented by approximately 1000 m of sediments. This sequence was divided into five formations from the bottom as follows: the Zafir Formation of Scythian age, consisting of alternating shale, fossiliferous limestone and sandstone; the Ra’af Formation of Upper Scythian-Lower Anisian age, consisting mainly of fossiliferous limestones; the Gevanim Formation, of Anisian age, consisting of sandstone, siltstone and shale with minor amounts of limestone; the Saharonim Formation, of Upper Anisian-Carnian age, consisting of fossiliferous limestone, dolomite, marlstone and sparse gypsum and anhydrite layers; the Mohilla Formation of Carnian-Norian age, consisting of anhydrite and dolomite.

In southwestern and central Sinai the Triassic sequence is represented by a clastic sequence of continental origin (Budra Formation).

The paleogeography during the Triassic, over southern Israel and Sinai, was essentially controlled by transgressive and regressive cycles of the Tethys Sea situated north and northwest of the region.

During the Scythian times, regression resulted in deposition of fluvial sediments in southern Sinai, deltaic sediments in southern Israel and western Jordan and shallow marine sediments in the Central and Northern Negev.

During Late Scythian-Early Anisian time the influx of clastics from the Arabo-Nubian massif, situated in the south, was replaced by accumulation of shallow-water carbonates over large parts of northern Sinai and southern Israel. Later, regression led to the deposition of fluvial and deltaic sediments and a shift of the shoreline some 80 to 100 km northwards.

During the Late Anisian-Carnian a large scale transgression brought the shoreline to its southernmost Triassic extent.

The shallow marine sedimentation of this phase was replaced gradually by tidal and sabkha conditions. During the Late Triassic supratidal sabkhas and very shallow lagoons became dominant. This was accompanied by differential subsidence, evaporite accumulation taking place in the subsiding basins and supratidal dolomitization on the surrounding “highs”.

The Triassic ended with subareal exposure, slight erosion and development of lateritic soils.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yehezkeel Druckman
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological Survey of IsraelJerusalemIsrael

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