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Quaternary subsurface paleosols in Haifa Bay, Israel: A new perspective on stratigraphic correlations in coastal settings

Tsatskin, Alexander, Sandler, Amir, Avnaim-Katav, Simona
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2015 v.426 pp. 285-296
argillic horizons, calcification, calcium carbonate, clay, climate change, deformation, groundwater, high water table, illuviation, isotopes, microstructure, mineralogy, paleosolic soil types, rivers, taxonomy, Israel
This study presents the first in-depth analysis of properties, micromorphology, clay mineralogy, magnetic susceptibility, and general properties of Quaternary paleosols from two boreholes in Haifa Bay subsurface, whose chronostratigraphic position was determined previously. The current analytical results allowed us to identify the type, hydrologic regime, polygenesis, mode of pedosedimentary evolution, and some subsequent alterations of paleosols. The analogs of polygenic Haplo- and Rhodo-xeralf soils (Brown, Mollic, and Ortho-Hamra) are associated with marine isotope stages (MIS) 3.1, 5.4, 6 and 8.0 (or 7.4) and likely developed in response to a changing climate. Paleosols prior to MIS 12, yet difficult to attribute to specific MIS, are distinct from Hamra soils by striking mottling, poor preservation of argillic horizons, abundant deformations in microfabric, and overprinting processes of gley and calcium carbonate accumulation. It is assumed that calcification may have affected the earlier formed clay illuviation and amorphous features, and was related with marine/coastal groundwater interface. The older calcic gleyed paleosols of earlier Middle Pleistocene likely indicate that coastal paleogeography was characterized by both high discharge of the ancient Qishon River and a high water table. The thin section micromorphology is particularly valuable for refined paleopedological taxonomy. Identified Pleistocene paleosols including their type, hydrology and mode of evolution, are proposed to serve additional stratigraphic markers in coastal settings.