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International Journal on Algae
SJR: 0.216 SNIP: 0.322 CiteScore™: 0.4

ISSN Imprimer: 1521-9429
ISSN En ligne: 1940-4328

International Journal on Algae

DOI: 10.1615/InterJAlgae.v10.i1.60
pages 73-102

Algal biostratigraphy of some Early Miocene sequences, North Eastern Desert, Egypt

M. M. Hamad
Geological and Techniquical Institute, P.O. 2193 AlMadinah, Saudi Arabia


The Early Miocene deposits in Gebel Genefe, North Eastern Desert, unconformably overlies the Oligocene and Eocene deposits. They consist predominantly of regressive and transgressive mixed siliciclastic / carbonate sediments of shallow marine environments. The Early Miocene deposits are represented lithostratigraphically by the Gharra Formation that comprises four members, from base to top: Agrud, Sadat, Hommath and Genefe Members. Two measured sections were described and investigated: Gebel Genefe sectin and Gebel Agrud section. The coralline red algae are highly abundant in Sadat and Genefe members as fragments, crusts and rhodoliths. Large foraminifera, corals, echinoids, bivalves, gastropods, bryozoans, benthic and planktonic foraminifers, dasyclades are also present. These two members consist of dolomitized bioclastic packstone, grainstone to floastones / rudstone with rhodoliths (up to 3 cm in size). The systematic study led to the recognition of 14 coralline algal species. Lithophyllum sp. dominates the coralline associations at the generic level, followed by Mesophyllum spp., Lithothamnion spp. and Spongites spp. The vertical distribution of the coralline red algae in the two concerned sections allowed to subdivide the Early Miocene sequence into two local coralline algal zones, from base to top: Lithophyllum ghorabi zone (including the Sadat Member) and Mesophyllum iraqense (covering the Genefe Member). The rhodoliths populations in the two sections were analyzed in terms of their size, shape, massiveness, symmetry, algal growth forms, algal species diversity, epibionts and borings. These parameters reflect environmental differences between the two studied sections. A comparison of the two the analyzed rhodoliths populations show common features, but also significant differences are recorded. The rhodoliths populations of Gebel Genefe were formed under low energy conditions characterized by porous rhodoliths with higher primary porosity, less frequent epibionts, more boring and thick coralline algal thalli as well as greater asymmetry. On the contrary, in Gebel Agrud the analyzed rhodoliths population were formed in high energy conditions of more shallower water marine environments and characterized by more mobile, symmetrical rhodoliths, more frequent of epibiont, thin coralline thalli.

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