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Using Phytoliths and Carbon Isotope Stratigraphy to Recognize Subtle Subsurface Unconformities in the Unayzah Group of Saudi Arabia

T. van Hoof1, D.M. Steinhauff2, and N.P. Hooker2



Unayzah Group correlation in Saudi Arabia is complicated by lack of terrestrial fossils preserved in oxidized red-beds. Phytoliths are biogenic siliceous plant infillings and casts resistant to oxidation. Although some may have been deposited by wind, we believe the bulk of the phytoliths and their preservation within the Unayzah red-beds comprises the remains of both hot- and cold-desert, restricted plant communities (i.e., biocoenoses) that persisted during deposition of the Unayzah Group.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90188 ©GEO-2014, 11th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, 10-12 March 2014, Manama, Bahrain