, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 1703-1716
Date: 18 Nov 2011

Sedimentological and geochemical evidence to elucidate an evaporitic–carbonate paleoenvironment, Middle Miocene Red Sea coast, Egypt

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Abstract

Lithologic succession, microscopic examination as well as X-ray diffraction and chemical data revealed that the surface Middle Miocene evaporites of Wadi Quei are composed of anhydrite beds intercalated with carbonate and green shale, whilst the subsurface evaporites of Gemsa locality are composed of gypsum, anhydrite, carbonates and celestite with a rare amount of halite. The anhydrite is found to be formed diagenetically after gypsum. The carbonate is interpreted as having been of biogenic origin. The strong smell of H2S and golden crystals of pyrite at Wadi Quei beds are indications of the biogenic action of sulphate-reducing bacteria in the presence of organic matter. It is suggested that the evaporite sequence which was deposited in a supratidal sabkha environment is characterized by alkaline-reducing conditions. The presence of nodular gypsum at Gemsa locality is probably deposited in a supratidal environment with oscillation of sea level.