martes, 6 de diciembre de 2016

Beirut's Pigeon Rock

Off the coast of Raouché, there is a natural landmark called the Pigeons' Rock. These two huge rock formations, which stand like gigantic sentinels, are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. 

Raouché is a residential and commercial neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon. It is known for its upscale apartment buildings, numerous restaurants, and cliff-side cafés that line Avenue de Paris, which forms part of the popular, on weekends and evenings, Corniche de Beirut.


The oldest rocks exposed in Lebanon are probably no older than earliest Jurassic, that is, around 200 million years old. Although this is not a great age, the Lebanese sequence is scientifically important because it is thick, very well exposed, little deformed and seems to show very few gaps.

Differently from Jurassic, the Cretaceous strata are less well marked and in many cases apparently identical strata appear to continue into the Paleocene and Eocene with no major break. The upper part of the Cretaceous and the early Paleogene is almost entirely carbonate with some only thin clay units. It represents a very real stratigraphic challenge with a mosaic of subtly varying facies, most of which look superficially very similar.

After the Jurassic Kesrouane Limestone, the Sannine Limestone forms the second great carbonate sequence of Lebanon, capping the highest peaks of northern Mount Lebanon and occurring in a wide belt along, and just inland of, the present day coast. The Sannine Formation is mainly divided into a “mountain” and “coastal” facies, this last consisting of a fine grained, thin bedded, deep water pelagic carbonates sequence.

This sequence is frequently slumped and, especially in the extreme west shows scour channels and what appear to be calci-turbidite deposits. 

Slumping in this unit is intriguing and probably represents the effects of slight tectonism along the continent-ocean margin, possibly related to renewed opening of the Levantine branch of the NeoTethyan Ocean. 

The most spectacular occurrences of this slope and basin facies are at Pigeon Rocks at Rauche in Ras Beirut.

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