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Foraminiferal biostratigraphy and paleoenvironment evolution recorded in the Upper Eocene succession in northeastern Desert, Egypt

Abstract

The benthic and planktonic foraminiferal assemblages of the Upper Eocene Beni Suef and Maadi formations of three exposed sections at northeastern part of the Nile Valley of Egypt were studied in detail to detect the paleoenvironment and the biostratigraphy. One hundred and fifty-four species of benthic foraminifera belonging to 63 genera and 40 families were identified. Thirty-six planktonic species belonging to 13 genera and 5 families were also identified. The vertical distribution of the recorded foraminifera species in the studied Eocene succession leads to construct six benthic and two planktonic foraminifera zones in the Upper Eocene succession. The benthic zones were arranged from base to top as follows: Bulimina jacksonensis zone, Cancris auriculus var. primitivus zone, Neoeponides schreibersi zone, Elphidium ancestrum zone, Cibicidina carinatus zone, Anomalinoides trinitatensis–Textularia fahmyi zone. Moreover, the planktonic foraminifera zones include the E14.Globigerinatheka semiinvoluta zone and E15.Globigerinatheka index zone. These zones were discussed and correlated with those in Egypt and the neighboring Middle East countries. The faunal content and the facies are used to determine the environmental conditions that controlled the deposition in the Upper Eocene platform of the studied area. Accordingly, the Beni Suef Formation was deposited in an open marine, middle to outer neritic environment, while the Maadi Formation was deposited in shallower environment. Based on the microfacies analysis, three main facies types are determined including inner, mid and outer ramp facies.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Maria Virgínia Alves Martins (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Sedimentary Environments) an anonymous reviewer for careful and thoughtful comments and constructive suggestions, which help to improve the quality of this manuscript.

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Ramadan, A.M., El-Gaied, I.M.A., Saber, S.G. et al. Foraminiferal biostratigraphy and paleoenvironment evolution recorded in the Upper Eocene succession in northeastern Desert, Egypt. J. Sediment. Environ. 6, 485–512 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43217-021-00065-4

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Keywords

  • South Helwan
  • Marine setting
  • Sedimentary biofacies
  • Benthic foraminifera
  • Planktonic foraminifera