Agglutinated Foraminifera in Organic-Rich Neritic Carbonates (Upper Cretaceous, Israel) and their use in Identifying Oxygen Levels in Oxygen-Poor Environments

  • Ahuva Almogi-Labin
  • Amos Bein
  • Eytan Sass
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 327)


Two subsurface composite sections of the Upper Cretaceous in Israel were studied, using species of agglutinated foraminifera as indicators for paleoceanographic conditions. The southern section in the Zin Valley includes the Menuha, Mishash and Ghareb formations. It consists of chalks with a high but variable content of organic matter, as well as phosphorites and cherts in the Campanian interval. The synchronous northern section, in the Shefela basin, is more uniformly calcareous, and the equivalent of the Mishash and Ghareb formations is known as the ‘En Zetim Formation. The southern section represents a restricted shelf environment, the northwestern section a somewhat deeper basin of the southeastern Tethys.

Seventeen agglutinated taxa were identified, belonging to 13 genera. Number and composition of species display significant vertical variations along both sections. The fossil agglutinated faunas are to be influenced primarily by differential tolerance of the species to oxygen depletion, and secondarily, by differential resistance of the tests to destruction by dissolution. Three benthonic assemblage types were defined, based on the presence/absence of diagnostic agglutinated species at both the Shefela and Zin Valley sections. The distribution of these assemblage types, both geographic and stratigraphic, indicates that after moderately dysaerobic bottom conditions during the Santonian in the south, considerable oxygen depletion set in during the Campanian, coupled with increased, upwelling-linked productivity in the upper waters. At the same time the deeper northern basin, which had been nearly anoxic till well into the Campanian, had moderately well-aerated bottom water. Toward the end of the Campanian, oxygen in the southern basin recovered to pre-Campanian levels. At the same time episodes of severe depletion set in in the northern basin, with a notable episode of aeration in the Early Maastrichtian. From the middle of the Maastrichtian onward, oxygen levels in the northern basin are nearer to normal-marine. No synchronous data are available for the more restricted southern basin.


Planktonic Foraminifera Foraminiferal Assemblage Assemblage Type Calcareous Nannoplankton Valley Basin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahuva Almogi-Labin
    • 1
  • Amos Bein
    • 1
  • Eytan Sass
    • 2
  1. 1.Geological Survey of IsraelJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Institute of Earth SciencesThe Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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