Coralline Red Algae and Microfacies studies as environmental indicators: A case study from the Gharamul formation, Gulf of Suez Region, Egypt

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Cairo University, Faculty of Science, Geology Department, Egypt

2 Menoufia University, Faculty of Science, Geology Department, Egypt

Abstract

The systematic studies and taxonomic investigations carried out on the Early Miocene Gharamul
Formation exposed in Gebel Abu Shaar El Qabili plateau, western side of the Gulf of Suez region, led
to the recognition of twelve coralline algal species belonging mainly to five genera of three subfamilies
(Mastrophoroideae, Lithophylloideae, and Melobesioideae) of Rhodophyta (Corallinaceae). The
geniculate coralline algae are relatively scarce and represented by a single genus Corallina sp. The
Mastophoroids (Neogonilithon and Spongites) and Lithophylloids (Lithophyllum) are more dominant
coralline algal species and dominate the shallower coralline algal assemblages. On the other hand,
Melobesioids (Mesophyllum and Lithothamnion) and sporolithales (Sporolithon) are the most abundant
components and diverse in the deeper-water assemblages. The Gharamul Formation (Burdigalian)
consists of a thick carbonateclastics succession. The lower part consists of a cyclic sequence of
laminated, fossiliferous and argillaceous limestone intercalated with mudstone, and sandstones. It is
documented that the clastic microfacies have good reservoir quality in the region due to the impacts of
dissolution and fracturing diagenetic processes. The carbonate microfacies are impervious due to the
effects of cementation, and micritization. The dominance of coralline algae and larger benthic
foraminifera indicate deposition in the photic zone. Frequent oscillation of lower-energy (foraminiferal
wackestones) with higher-energy (grain-supported grainstones, packstones and rudstone) suggest the
likely incidence of cyclones/storms during the depositional time.

Keywords


Article Title [فارسی]

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