Mt Carmel in Israel is not a single mountain. In fact, the name refers to a range of coastal mountains that runs from the Mediterranean Sea for roughly 40 miles toward the south east.
Archeologists have studied the area in detail since the early 1930’s. It’s an important study site since there is evidence of a number of caves and rock shelters that may have been inhabited for nearly 600,000 years! Carmel plays an important part in a number of different religion’s history, being mentioned in the Bible numerous times, and the site upon which was founded a Catholic religious order (the Carmelites) in the 12th century.
There is a southern mountain pass through the Mt Carmel Range that almost everyone that has read the Bible would recognize…Tel Megiddo, translated into Greek as Armageddon.
Geologically, this mountain range is one of Israel’s most complicated areas. The rock tends to be carbonate and sedimentary, indicating that the area was once part of a sea floor. Depths of that early sea are estimated to be nearly 65 meters in the southern areas of the range and may have been deeper toward the north. There are some areas that show signs of isolated volcanic activity in the deep past.
It’s also an earthquake prone area due to a number of tectonic faults that cross the range, but most of them tend to be quite small. Given the tectonic plate boundary and fault lines that cross the range, scientists are keeping close track of the stresses that build in the area due to continuing plate motion, currently estimated at 5mm per year.
In this thin section slide, at minimum magnification (~4x), the rock shows patterns that are obviously caused by sedimentation. Although there are some crystals embedded in the sample, most of the rocks features appear to be fragments of larger rocks that were crushed together by earthquakes over aeons as the sedimentary rocks were formed.