The coastal strip between Batroun and Nahr El-Bared was formed during the Miocene period (Miocene of Jabal Turbol) represented as marl and calcareous terraces between Mount Lebanon and the sea. The low lying coastal rocks southwest of Tripoli, and including the Nakhl islands (Ramkine, Palm, Sanani and adjacent islets), also date to the Tertiary period. More recent Pleistocene sediments were deposited north and west of Tripoli. Some of these alluvial and beach sediments from the river Abu Ali continue to be deposited in the sheltered coastal zones east of the Nakhl archipelago, as well as in the harbor basin and at Ras Borj En Nahr. The bulk of these Quaternary sands and clays were deposited after the last ice age when the El-Mina Miocene outcrop formed an island separate from the continental terraces.
The only significant soil development on the islands is developed from aeolian and beach deposited calcareous sands. Much of the western part of Palm Island has significant depths of sandy soils. Soils elsewhere on the islands range from non-existent to small localized accumulations of sandy and organic soils.
The sandy beach of Palm Island is seasonally displaced, in response to changes in water currents. Temporary fresh water ponds form (October - June) on the islands but are dry by early June.
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