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Significance of Miocene Sediments in Respect to Development of Suez Rift

Abdel Motti Saoudi

The Miocene section represents the filling stage of the Suez rift. The lower Miocene Nukhul and Rudeis Formations represent the early stages of rift development. Paleontological and paleo-environmental data as well as the structural setting of the rift support this interpretation.

The major tectonic movements accompanying the early stages of development of the Suez rift were the pre-Miocene, the post-Nukhul, and the upper Rudeis events, affecting deposition of Nukhul, Rudeis, and Kareem Formations, respectively. The sedimentary facies of the Nukhul Formation show the initiation phase of rifting. The Nukhul Formation is subdivided into a lower (Shoab Ali) member and an upper (Ghara) member. The Shoab Ali Member is composed of nonmarine unfossiliferous facies; the Ghara Member is composed of an evaporite sequence overlain by shallow marine carbonates containing shallow marine fauna. The dominant infilling stage of the rift occurred during deposition of the Rudeis Formation. The lower Rudeis section consists of deep marine carbonates, whereas deep marine clastics are present in the upper Rudeis section. The faunal assemblages of the Rudeis Formation are also open marine. The Kareem Formation began with shallow marine deposition and ended with open marine deposition.

The facies distribution discussed in this paper is restricted to the southern part of the Suez rift. To the north, the distribution of the facies changes characteristically. This paper demonstrates that the sediments distribution within the lower Miocene section correlates with the different phases of development of the Suez rift.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.