May 25th, 2017 -  Safadi Auditorium, Multi-Purpose building, University of Haifa

9:30-9:45  -  Coffee

9:45-10:00  -  Welcome and scope - Uri Schattner

9:50-10:00  -  Greetings from Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham (Head, Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel; Founding Director, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences)

Session 1.   Chair - Maayan Cohen

10:00-10:10 Dror Kipnis - Active Acoustic Detection

Active acoustics is used to detect marine fauna which does not emit acoustic signals, such as pelagic fish. An active acoustic system is composed of a transmitting projector and a receiving hydrophone. The projector emits a train of acoustic pulses, which are reflected from the surrounding and received by the hydrophone. Analysis of the received signal reveals valuable information such as the existence of a target, and its range and velocity. In the talk, we will review some basic principles of active acoustic detection, and display initial experimental results.

10:20-10:30 Ashley Himmelstein - Continued FDEM Surveys of Dor's South Bay

Frequency Domain Electromagnetic Method (FDEM) is used to detect subsurface features, both man-made and natural, based on the electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility of what is below the surface. This method was tried successfully in two sections of the south bay of Tel Dor, detecting a large buried feature located to the south of what was theorized as Iron Age quays, as well as evidence of a possible past connection to the Tantura Lagoon. This project conducted a second survey which covered the entire beach area of Dor’s South Bay using the same method as the previous survey.  The aim was to find evidence of buried features, natural or artificial, and expose the topography of the bay below the sand. The results revealed a past connection between the bay and lagoon that may have been a navigation channel along with a series of buried structures along the coastline. 

Maps of the apparent electric conductivity of the entire Dor South Bay survey presented by decreasing depth (Top Left: 4725-2025 Hz, Top Right: 4725-10025 Hz, Bottom Left: 10025-25725 Hz, Bottom Right: 25725- 60025 Hz)

10:30-10:40 Diana Shukis - Microplastic in sea turtles

Ingestion of plastic by sea turtles is an ever-growing problem and is now a global phenomenon that affects all seven species. It is unknown whether ingestion is accidental or selective. In my study, I want to determine the prevalence and to characterize the microplastic in the digestive system of sea turtles on the Israeli beach and to examine the possibility of pollutant leaching from microplastic to the digestive system and other fatty tissue of the sea turtles. 

10:40-10:50 Aviad Avni - Deep In situ microscopy using an ROV

Microscopic-scale processes significantly influence benthic marine ecosystems such as coral reefs and kelp forests. Due to the ocean’s complex and dynamic nature, it is most informative to study these processes in the natural environment yet it is inherently difficult. Here we present a system capable of non-invasively imaging seafloor environments in and organisms in situ at nearly micrometer resolution up to 100 Meter depth. The method is achieved by mounting the microscope on an ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle). In the talk, we will describe the system and show results from an 80 Meter experiment in the Red sea.


10:50-11:10 BREAK 

Session 2.   Chair - Lisa Coianiz

11:10-11:20 Shay Shemesh - The Rig and Rigging of the Akko Tower Shipwreck

The Akko Tower Wreck is the remains of a 25-m-long merchant brig, which sank in Akko harbor during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The remains of the Akko Tower shipwreck, lying north-east to the southwest, are 17.8 m between its extremities, and maximum 6.4 m maximum beam. A preliminary study of the hull remains indicated a western European construction tradition. During underwater excavations, various finds were retrieved from the shipwreck, including metal and wooden rigging and anchorage means artefacts. In this M.A. thesis, we aimed to study the function and location of these standing and running rigging elements, date them, and provide additional information regarding the actual dimensions and origin of the ship. Though still a work in progress, initial results are already available.

11:30-11:40 Thomai Anagnostoudi - Salt tectonics and thin-skinned contractional deformation in the Deep Levant Basin

Thin-skin tectonics is the term for the tectonic deformation of the overburden layers caused by a mobile substratum. The apprehension of salt tectonics is the key to a better understanding of the structural evolution of numerous sedimentary basins worldwide which are occupied by a mobile layer. Most salt basins have experienced long-lasting deformation and the literature is already well established regarding the last stages of salt origin structures (diapirs, salt walls, etc.) or the salt produced stages (upslope extension, downslope contraction) at passive margins under the influence of gravity-driven spreading above a mobile substratum. Salt tectonics is known to be the predominant cause for thin-skin deformation of the deep Levant basin. It is seen by salt-induced progressive transition from upslope extension to downslope contraction and through shortening structures in both the Messinian mobile unit and its overlaying Plio-Pleistocene succession. However, the amount of shortening, its differential distribution the development of typical structures, the timing and the stages of deformation have never been mapped, quantified and/or identified. The current study analyzes two pre-stack depth migrated seismic reflection volumes from the deep Levant basin in order to shed light on these issues with the final goal to create flow simulation models for the structural restoration of the basin and also depositional space models for the reconstruction of the potential sediment sources in the deep basin. Data are interpreting using Petrel software package provided by Schlumberger. Seismic attributes are calculated during interpretation, to emphasize structural and stratigraphic aspects of the data (e.g., amplitude, chaos, 3D curvature, max curvature, structural smoothing, sweetness, variance, and ant-tracking). Initial results present the characterization of 408 strike-slip faults from the contractional domain, their interaction and hierarchical stages of their activation. The propagation of compression creates domains of different amounts of shortening, differentiating the area into zones of distinct levels of deformation (longer-moderate-shorter wavelength of deformation). In the Plio-Pleistocene sequence and the uppermost Messinian Unit, the axes of the folds curve around an NW-SE trend, while a different trend appears in the intra Messinian Units. Initial results indicate that the direction and the magnitude of the stress regime have changed from the initiation of Messinian Salinity Crisis till present at least three times. The interaction between structural and morphological features produced under different stress regimes serve as the key for understanding initial deformation stages of salt giants. The aim of the research is to reconstruct the deformation history from the beginning of Messinian Salinity Crisis till the present. The results from this Ph.D. study will contribute to the current understanding of thin-skin deformation processes and initial stages in deep-water compressional settings under the influence of a mobile substratum.

11:40-11:50 Roey Nickelsberg - The Destruction of the Palace at Tel Kabri: A Micro-archaeological Approach

The Middle Bronze Age palace at Tel Kabri was the center of a polity controlling the coast of the western Galilee. Excavations within the palace yielded evidence for international maritime connections with Cyprus and the Aegean. This research aims to shed light on the reasons for the collapse of this policy by studying microscopic evidence present in the site's sediments. Two main hypotheses were examined, (a) destruction by fire, and (b) abandonment due to a deteriorating economy. The first hypothesis was tested using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, a method that allows identifying changes caused to clay minerals due to heat. No alteration was detected, indicating that the palace was not destroyed by fire. The second hypothesis was tested by comparing the concentrations of plant micro-remains (phytoliths) along the two last activity phases of the palace, attempting to identify differences in consumption of vegetal food. Due to low concentrations of phytoliths it was impossible to conclude about vegetal economy. Yet, the low phytolith concentrations indicate that grass by-products (e.g., straw or chaff from wheat and barley) were not a major component during activities in the Palace. 

The low phytolith concentrations may also indicate poor preservation conditions at the site. Bones from all of the Palace's habitation phases were studied to test this possibility. FTIR analysis showed that both bone mineral and collagen are well preserved. Such a good state of bone preservation is uncommon in archaeological open air sites, suggesting that the bones were buried rapidly. In turn, this indicates that the phytolith concentrations reflect the original vegetal input into the site. The hypothesis of rapid burial will be further tested using micromorphology which will enable the determination whether the last phase of Palace activity was covered by rapid or slow sedimentary filling processes. Doing so will be another step towards understanding the reason/s for the demise of the Kabri palace.

11:50-12:00 Peleg Haruzi - Micro- and Macro-Scale Petrophysical Characterization of a Lower Cretaceous sandstone unit simulated in a real geometry obtained with µ-CT Imaging

Lower Cretaceous sandstone serves as hydrocarbon reservoir in some places over the world, and potentially in Hatira formation, Northern Israel. The purpose of the current research is to conduct a petrophysical characterization of these sandstone units. The study was carried out by two alternative methods: using conventional macroscopic lab measurements, and using a 3D microscopic imaging a modeling. The latter included µ-CT scanning, segmentation of the pore-network, image processing, image analysis of pore network, followed by fluid flow simulations at a microscale. Upscaling the results of these micro-scale flow simulations allowed obtaining macroscopic rock parameters that are conventionally measured in the lab. Comparison of the upscaled and the measured properties was conducted, showing a good agreement. Results of this study will provide necessary  ry parameters for the future macroscopic fluid flow modeling in the Lower Cretaceous sandstone, applicable for the fields of petroleum production and CO2 sequestration.

Results of flow simulation, conducted in the real geometry of the sample: velocity field in color scale, of fluid which flows in the pore network.

12:00-12:30 BREAK 

Session 3.   Chair - Leigh Kroeger

12:30-12:40 Michal Rosenthal - 3D structure of a complex of transform basins from gravity data, a case study from the central Dead Sea fault

The Kinneret-Bet She'an (KBS) basin complex comprises the Sea of Galilee, Kinarot, and Bet She'an sub-basins. The complex developed at the intersection between two major tectonic boundaries: the Oligo-Miocene Azraq-Sirhan failed rift, that later developed into the southern Galilee basins and Carmel-Gilboa fault system; and the Dead Sea fault (DSF) plate boundary that developed since the Miocene. Despite numerous studies, KBS still remains one of the enigmatic basin complexes. Its structure, stratigraphy and development are vaguely understood – both inside the basin and in correlation with its surroundings. Our study presents a new and comprehensive 3D model for the structure of KBS complex. It is based on all available gravity measurements, adopted from the national gravity database, and new gravity measurements, collected in cooperation with the Geological Survey of Israel and funded by the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources. The gravity data were integrated with constraints from boreholes, surface geology, seismic surveys, potential field studies and teleseismic tomography. The dense distribution of gravity data provides suitable coverage for modeling the deep structure in three dimensions. The model details the spatial distribution, depth, thickness and density of the following regional units within the KBS complex and across its surroundings: upper crust, pre-Senonian sediments, Senonian and Cenozoic sediments, Miocene volcanics, Pliocene and Quaternary volcanics. Additional local units include salt, gabbro and pyroclasts. Results indicate that the KBS complex comprises two sub-basins separated by a structural saddle: Kinneret-Kinarot (~6-7 km deep, ~45 km long) and Bet She'an (~4 km deep, ~10 km long) sub-basin. A 500 m thick layer of Miocene volcanics appears across the Bet She'an sub-basin, yet missing from the Kinneret-Kinarot sub-basin. Between the basins Zemah-1 borehole penetrated a salt unit. The model indicates that this unit is a part of a thick (1250 m) dome-shaped, perhaps diapiric, structure. A relatively thin (350 m) salt unit fills the Kinneret-Kinarot sub-basin. Above, a 700 m thick layer of Pliocene volcanics fills the entire KBS complex. These volcanics are uplifted in the Zemah area by ~200 m. The Pliocene volcanics dip northward from Zemah towards the center of the Sea of Galilee, and further north the Pliocene volcanics dip southward from Korazim towards the center of the Sea of Galilee. The depth differences exceed 3 km across a distance of ~15 km, forming a ~11° slope below the younger Quaternary fill of the basin. A low-density, probably pyroclastic, lens is calculated within the uppermost 2 km of the Sea of Galilee fill. Scenarios for the development of the basin are discussed.

Density profile crossing the Kinneret-Bet She’an basin complex (left) and its location (right), with the Zemah-1 deep borehole (4249 m) at its center. The profile and its corresponding observed and calculated gravity curves are extracted from a 3D density-depth model. Numbers are densities in gr/cm3.

12:40-12:50 Amikam Bar-Gil - Money, Patents, Fiasco and 20 years old question answered

External polysaccharide (EPS) from the microalgae Porphyridium cruentum has been the subject of many experiments and interest due to its antiaging, antiviral and antioxidant activity. ever since its discovery, more than 30 years ago, the biotech industry is trying to harness its potential for cosmetics and medical usages. the production of EPS requires massive quantities of ethanol (3 portions of EtOH per 1 portion of algae medium). for years the industry is trying to find a cheap, safe and clean ways to produce the polysaccharide without the necessity of huge amount of ethanol. I here by to present you with the cheapest, cleanest and most efficient method for EPS separation and production ! Do I ? probably not... my method (electro-dialysis) has completely eliminated the bioactive potency of the polysaccharide. However this finding has finally answered the ultimate question: "What is the bioactive molecule of the polysaccharide ?". For many years researchers had an assumption that the bioactive agent in this compound is the sulfate (SO4) but no one could prove it. apparently, the electro-dialysis process completely removes the sulfate molecules from the EPS and changes nothing else. Problem solved ! this finding will help the industry to focus only on those polysaccharides that contains the bioactive agent (Sulfate) and how to increase the concentration of it in the process of industrial mass scale.    

12:50-13:00 Sára Lantos - The Negev as a Mediterranean micro-region – the case of the Gaza wine in Late Antiquity

The Negev as a Mediterranean micro-region – the case of the Gaza wine in Late Antiquity "During the Byzantine period in Israel (from the rise of Christianity early in the 4th century until the Arabic conquest of the region towards the mid 7th century) there existed a flourishing urban society in the Negev Desert. The list of sites includes Elusa, Shivta, Oboda, Nessana, Memphis, Rehovot-in-the-Negev and Khirbet Sa’adon. The settlements in this area built up a system with complex terraces and run-off water catchment systems in order to be able to engage in agriculture in the desert. These towns and villages on the margins of the Byzantine Empire reached a high population; they built a well developed urban infrastructure with an agricultural hinterland. The main crops consisted of the grape-vine, olives and wheat and barley.  The other significant element of this flourishing system was the trade. One of the main trade goods, according to the archaeological sources, was wine - mostly Gaza wine according to the plenty Gaza jar shards found on the sites. The so called Gaza wine was produced in the agricultural hinterland of the port city of Gaza. The Negev desert was the main part of this hinterland and documents and archaeological remains shed light on the industrial scale of the wine making during the late antiquity. Gaza wine became a prestigious drink and was consumed all around the Mediterranean. 

With the retreat of the Byzantine presence and the Islamic conquest (around 640 AD) this well developed urban system seems to have declined and the population decreased. There are also some significant remains from the early Islamic period from these settlements, but the well-developed civilization that characterized the Byzantine period disappeared. This is not necessarily a direct result of the Arabic conquest of the area and some of the towns, such as Shivta and Nessana, continued to exist until the 10th century.  


My presentation aims to show stages of my about the wine production and consumption and particularly the trade patterns of the Gaza wine all across the Mediterranean in the late antiquity.


13:00-13:10 Gal Dishon - “Winners of the 3rd tier” - surviving mass extinction

Following to S. J. Gould (1985), evolution may be considered in three different “Tiers” defined by time scales and intensity of evolutionary processes. The first tier, the most researched one, represents modern ecological phenomena, the second contains evolutionary processes in geological time scales (as documented in fossil records) and the third tier relates to mass extinction periods which governed by different rules than the former tier, and where no complete evolutionary theory stands. Recently, the Anthropocene (starting with the industrial revolution) was suggested as a mass extinction in progress, hence survival of species in our era might be determined according to "third tier survival". Since scleractnian's skeletons and fossils constitute a large portion of fossil records, we are able to "go back in time" and explore the traits making a scleractnian a “mass extinction survivor”. Our findings show that the “survivor traits” found for the K-T event share much in common with the traits characterizing modern “least concerned” coral genera, Implying for a possible generic mechanism making a coral a “mass extinctions survivor”. These traits were less compatible with “low profile extinction” (such as the Plio-Pleistocene), implying a different set of traits to be beneficial in times of mass extinctions vs. background extinctions. Furthermore, among extant coral genera, those who had experienced the K-T event seem to be less threatened by modern extinction. 


13:10-13:20 Summary