Pleistocene Coral Reef Terraces on the Saudi Arabian Side of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea

  • Marco Taviani
  • Paolo Montagna
  • Najeeb M. A. Rasul
  • Lorenzo AngelettiEmail author
  • William Bosworth


A major geomorphic feature of the coastal Red Sea region is represented by Pleistocene raised marine terraces that occur on both sides of the Gulf of Aqaba. Those bordering the Saudi Arabian sector have received little attention thus far, and are comparatively less known than their counterparts in the Sinai sector of the Gulf and in the Red Sea. As is the rule in the Red Sea region, the best developed marine terrace system is reefal and pertains to the last interglacial (Marine Isotope Stage 5e = MIS5e, ~125 ka BP), although older Pleistocene terraces also occur. All such deposits are very fossiliferous and most carbonates are relatively unaltered, providing suitable material for geochronological purposes. Syndepositional marine botryoidal aragonite cements have been identified infilling vugs in the host bedrock at some sites. In some respect, the MIS5e deposits are unique, reflecting the structurally-controlled bedrock geology and the Gulf’s topography. The Gulf of Aqaba is rather narrow and characterized by steep and precipitous topography along its flanks. Coastal marine deposits commonly plaster the crystalline Arabian basement which faces the present seashore, extending from the Jordan border to almost two thirds of the coastal strip. Terraces sitting on this basement have been tectonically uplifted to considerable altitudes (up to 26 m) over the present mean sea level (m.s.l.). The bulk of the marine deposits represent upper fore-reef to beach settings, with better developed back-reef to lagoonal facies only preserved in those favourable conditions (wadi valleys) where sufficient accommodation space was available during the MIS5e to allow inland marine expansion. This is observed in the north at Al Wasel, and ~14 km south of Ra’s Suwayhil as Saghir. The terraces further to the south lie instead over a more recent bedrock, including Miocene sedimentary strata. Here MIS5e deposits are found close to standard altitudes between ~4–8 m above present m.s.l., and preserve shallow reefal habitats, as seen at Ash Shaykh Humayd. A rare example of a putative MIS5e salina-mangal complex has been identified in the area of Ra’s Suwayhil as Saghir at ~23 m above m.s.l.



We thank the Saudi Geological Survey for the invitation to present this study at the ‘2nd Red Sea Book Workshop’ held in Jeddah on February 2016. The expedition in the Gulf of Aqaba has been promoted and funded by the Saudi Geological Survey in Jeddah. We acknowledge all participants to the Winter 2013 Field Party SGS personnel for field work (Ali Saeedi, Abdulnasser Al-Qutub, Salem Al-Nomani, Nawaf Widinly, Mostafa Khorshid, Thamer Bakarman) and post-expedition sample processing (Adel Jarees, Ali Al-Tharowi, Mohamed M. Bin Himd, Hassan Khamis Ali). Abdulnasser Al-Qutub was also part of the diving team and responsible for underwater photography. We thank Francesca Bosellini for helping with coral identification. Michele Morsilli and two anonymous referees provided valuable critical comments. This paper is part of PRIN2012 Programme (Project 20125JKANY_002, Principal Investigator Marco Ligi) and is Ismar-CNR, Bologna, scientific contribution no. 1905.


  1. Aharon P, Chappell J (1986) Oxygen isotopes, sea-level changes and the temperature history of a coral reef environment in New Guinea over the last 105 years. Palaeogeogr Palaeocl 56:337–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aissaoui DM (1985) Botryoidal aragonite and its diagenesis. Sedimentology 32:345–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alamri AM, Schult FR, Bufe CG (1991) Seismicity and aeromagnetic features of the Gulf of Aqaba (Elat) region. J Geophys Res 96:20179–20185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alexandroff SJ, Zuschin M, Kroh A (2016) Quantitative comparison of Pleistocene and Recent coral reef habitats in the northern Red Sea (El Quseir, Egypt). Facies 62:15. Scholar
  5. Alhejoj I, Bandel K, Salameh E (2016) The fossil beach and reef terraces of the Gulf of Aqaba coast, Jordan—its environment, formation, and relation to mountain uplifting mechanism. Arab J Geosci 9:275. Scholar
  6. Al-Horani FA, Al-Rousan SA, Al-Zibdeh M, Khalaf MA (2006) The status of coral reefs on the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Zool Middle East 38:99–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Al-Mikhlafi AS, Edwards LR, Cheng I (2018) Sea-level history and tectonic uplift during the last-interglacial period (LIG): Inferred from the Bab al-Mandab coral reef terraces, Southern Red Sea. J Afr Earth Sci 138:133–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Al-Rifaiy IA, Cherif OH (1988) The fossil coral reefs of Al-Aqaba, Jordan. Facies 18:219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Al-Sayari SS, Dullo W-C, Hoetzl H, Jado AR, Zotl JG (1984) The Quaternary along the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. In: Jado AR, Zotl JG (eds) Quaternary period in Saudi Arabia 2. Springer, Wien, pp 32–47Google Scholar
  10. Andres W, Radtke U (1988) Quartäre strandterrassen an der küste des Gebel Zeit (Golf von Suez/Ägypten). Erdkunde 42:7–16Google Scholar
  11. Angeletti L, Rasul N, Taviani M (this volume) Mollusc fauna associated with Late Pleistocene coral reef systems of the Saudi Arabian side of the Gulf of AqabaGoogle Scholar
  12. Bantan RA, Abu-Zied RH, Haredy RA (2015) Lithology, fauna and environmental conditions of the Late Pleistocene raised reefal limestone of the Jeddah coastal plain, Saudi Arabia. Arab J Geosci 8:9887–9904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bartov Y, Steinitz G, Eyal M, Eyal Y (1980) Sinistral movement along the Gulf of Aqaba: Its age and relation to opening the Red Sea. Nature 285:220–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bayer H-J, Hötzl H, Jado AR, Roscher B, Voggenreiter W (1988) Sedimentary and structural evolution of the northwest Arabian Red Sea margin. Tectonophysics 153:137–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ben-Avraham Z, Zoback MD (1992) Transform-normal extension and asymmetric basins: An alternative to pull-apart models. Geology 20:423–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ben-Avraham Z, Garfunkel Z, Almagor G, Hall JK (1979) Continental breakup by a leaky transform: The Gulf of Elat (Aqaba). Science 206:214–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Berry L, Whiteman AJ, Bell SV (1966) Some radiocarbon dates and their geomorphological significance, emerged reef complex of the Sudan. Z Geomorphol 10:119–143Google Scholar
  18. Bonatti E, Clocchiatti R, Colantoni P, Gelmini R, Marinelli G, Ottonello G, Santacroce R, Taviani M, Abdel-Meguid AA, Assaf HS, El Tahir MA (1983) Zabargad (St. John’s) Island: An uplifted fragment of sub-Red Sea lithosphere. J Geol Soc 140:677–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Borri M, Sabelli B, Taviani M (1982) Cypraea (Talparia) exusta Sowerby, 1832, from the central Red Sea: New data. Lavori Soc Malacol Ital 103–107Google Scholar
  20. Bosence DWJ, Al-Aawah MH, Davidson I, Rosen B, Vita-Finzi C, Whittaker L (1998) Salt domes and their control on basin margin sedimentation: a case study from Tihama Plain, Yemen. In: Purser BH, Bosence DWJ (eds) Sedimentation and tectonics of rift basins: Red Sea-Gulf of Aden. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 450–467Google Scholar
  21. Bosworth W, McClay K (2001) Structural and stratigraphic evolution of the Gulf of Suez rift, Egypt: A synthesis. In: Ziegler PA, Cavazza W, Robertson AHF, Crasquin-Soleau S (eds) Peri-Tethys Mem 6: Peri-Tethyan Rift/Wrench Basins and Passive Margins. Mém Muséum Nat Hist Natur Paris 186, pp 567–606Google Scholar
  22. Bosworth W, Taviani M (1996) Late Quaternary reorientation of stress field and extension direction in the southern Gulf of Suez, Egypt: Evidence from uplifted coral terraces, mesoscopic fault arrays, and borehole breakouts. Tectonics 15:791–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Bosworth W, Huchon P, McClay K (2005) The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Basins. In: Catuneanu O, Guiraud R, Eriksson P, Thomas B, Shone R, Key R (eds) Phanerozoic evolution of Africa. J Afr Earth Sci 43:334–378Google Scholar
  24. Bosworth W, Taviani M, Rasul, N, Angeletti L, Montagna P, and Team (2013) Pleistocene Coral Terrace Project—Gulf of Aqaba, Saudi Arabia, Phase 1: December 6–15, 2013. SGS Report, 61 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Bosworth W, Montagna P, Pons-Branchu E, Rasul N, Taviani M (2017) Seismic hazards implications of uplifted Pleistocene coral terraces in the Gulf of Aqaba. Sci Repts 7(38):1–13. Scholar
  26. Bosworth W, Rasul N, Taviani M (this volume) Neotectonics of the Red Sea, Gulf of Suez and Gulf of AqabaGoogle Scholar
  27. Bouchon C, Jaubert J, Montaggioni L, Pichon M (1981) Morphology and evolution of the coral reefs of the Jordan coast of the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea). Proc Fourth Intern Coral Reef Symp, Manila 1:559–565Google Scholar
  28. Brachert TC, Vescogni A, Bosellini F, Reuter M, Mertz-Krauss M (2007) High salinity variability during the early Messinian revealed by stable isotope signatures from vermetid and Halimeda reefs of the Mediterranean region. Geol Romana 40:51–66Google Scholar
  29. Brighton AG (1931) The geology of the Farasan Islands, Gizan and Kamaran Island, Red Sea. Part 3. Echinoidea. Geol Mag 68:323–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Camoin G, Webster JM (2015) Coral reef response to Quaternary sea-level and environmental changes: State of the science. Sedimentology 62:401–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Casazza LR (2017) Pleistocene reefs of the Egyptian Red Sea: Environmental change and community persistence. PeerJ 5:e3504. Scholar
  32. Choukri A, Reyss JL, Plaziat JC (1995) Datations radiochimiques des hauts niveaux marins de la rive occidentale du Nord de la Mer Rouge au moyen de radioles d’oursins. CR Acad Sci Paris, (Sér 2, Sci Terre) 321:25–30Google Scholar
  33. Coleman RG (1993) Geologic evolution of the Red Sea. Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics, vol 24. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 186Google Scholar
  34. Conforto L, Delitala MC, Taddeucci (1976) Datazioni col 230Th di alcune formazioni coralligene delle Isola Dahlak (Mar Rosso). Rend Soc Ital Miner Petrol 32:153–158Google Scholar
  35. Cox LR (1929) Notes on the post-Miocene Ostreidae and Pectinidae of the Red Sea region, with remarks on the geological significance of their distribution. Proc Malacol Soc London 18:165–209Google Scholar
  36. Dabbagh A, Hoetzl H, Schnier H (1984) Farasan Islands. In: Jado AR, Zotl JG (eds) Quaternary period in Saudi Arabia 2. Springer, Wien, pp 212–220Google Scholar
  37. Dawood YH, Aref MA, Mandurah MH, Hakami A, Gameil M (2013) Isotope geochemistry of the Miocene and Quaternary carbonate rocks in Rabigh area, Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia. J Asian Earth Sci 77:151–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Dibattista JD, Choat JH, Gaither MR, Hobbs J-PA, Lozano-Cortés DF, Myers RF, Paulay G, Rocha LA, Toonen RJ, Westneat MW, Berumen ML (2016) On the origin of endemic species in the Red Sea. J Biogeogr 43:13–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Dill RF, Land LS, Mack LE, Schwarcz HP (1998) A submerged stalactite from Belize: Petrography, geochemistry, and geochronology of massive marine cementation. Carbon Evapor 13:189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Dollfus RP, Roman J (1981) Les echinides de la Mer Rouge. Monographie zoologique et paléontologique, Ministères des Universités, Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, 145 ppGoogle Scholar
  41. Dreyfuss M (1931) Etudes de géologie et de géographie physique sur la cote francaise des Somalis. Rev Géogr Phys Géol Dyn 4:311–327Google Scholar
  42. Dullo W-C (1984) Progressive diagenetic sequence of aragonite structures: Pleistocene coral reefs and their modern counterparts on the eastern Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia. Palaeontogr Am 54:254–260Google Scholar
  43. Dullo W-C (1986) Variation in diagenetic sequences: an example from Pleistocene coral reefs, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia. In: Schroeder JH, Purser BH (eds) Reef Diagenesis. Springer, Berlin, pp 77–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Dullo W-C (1990) Facies, fossil record, and age of Pleistocene reefs from the Red Sea (Saudi Arabia). Facies 22:1–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Dullo W-C, Montaggioni L (1998) Modern Red Sea coral reefs: a review of their morphologies and zonation. In: Purser BH, Bosence DWJ (eds) Sedimentation and tectonics of rift basins: Red Sea-Gulf of Aden. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 583–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Dutton A, Carlson AE, Long AJ, Milne GA, Clark PU, DeConto R, Horton BP, Rahmstorf S, Raymo ME (2015) Sea level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods. Science 349(6244). Scholar
  47. El-Asmar HM (1997) Quaternary isotope stratigraphy and paleoclimate of coral reef terraces, Gulf of Aqaba, South Sinai. Egypt. Quatern Sci Rev 16:911–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. El-Moursi M, Hoang CT, El Fayoumy IF, Hegab O, Faure H (1994) Pleistocene evolution of the Red Sea coastal plain, Egypt: Evidence from Uranium-series dating of emerged reef terraces. Quatern Sci Rev 13:345–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. El-Shazly EM, Saleeb GB, Zaki N (1974) Quaternary basalt in St. John’s Island, Red Sea. Egypt. Egypt J Geol 18:137–148Google Scholar
  50. El-Sorogy A (1997) Pleistocene coral reefs of southern Sinai, Egypt: Fossil record, facies analysis and diagenetic alterations. Middle East Research Center, Ain Shams University, Earth Sci Series 11:17–36Google Scholar
  51. El-Sorogy A, Youssef M, Al-Sabrouty M, Al-Otaiby N (2014) Facies pattern and molluscan fauna of the Late Pleistocene raised coral reef of Rabigh area, Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia. Indian J Geo-Mar Sci 43:1571–1580Google Scholar
  52. Fairchild IJ, Baker A (2012) Speleothem science: from process to past environments. Wiley-Blackwell, 450 ppGoogle Scholar
  53. Faure H (1975) Recent crustal movements along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts in Afar (Ethiopia and T.F.A.I.). Tectonophysics 29:479–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Faure H, Hoang CT, Lalou C (1973) Structure et géochronologie (230Th/234U) des récifs coralliens soulevés à l’ouest du Golf d’Aden (T.F.A.I). Rev Géogr Phys Géol Dynam 15:393–403Google Scholar
  55. Faure H, Hoang CT, Lalou C (1980) Datations 234U/230Th des calcaires coralliens et mouvements verticaux à Djibouti. Bull Soc Géol France 22:959–962CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Felis T, Lohmann G, Kuhnert H, Lorenz SJ, Scholz D, Pätzold J, Al-Rousan SA, Al-Moghrabi SM (2004) Increased seasonality in Middle East temperatures during the last interglacial period. Nature 429:164–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Felis T, Pätzold J, Loya Y, Moaz F, Nawar AH, Wefer G (2000) A coral oxygen isotope record from the northern Red Sea documenting NAO, ENSO, and North Pacific teleconnections on Middle East climate variability since the year 1750. Paleoceanography 15:679–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Feng D, Cheng D, Roberts HH (2008) Sedimentary fabrics in the authigenic carbonates from Bush Hill: Implication for seabed fluid flow and its dynamic signature. Geofluids 8:301–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Gabrié C, Montaggioni L (1982) Sedimentary facies from the modern coral reefs, Jordan Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Coral Reefs 1:115–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Gass IG (1977) The evolution of the Pan African crystalline basement in NE Africa and Arabia. J Geol Soc London 134:129–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ginsburg RN, James NP (1976) Submarine botryoidal aragonite in Holocene reef limestones, Belize. Geology 4:431–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Goldberg M, Yaron F (1978) Th 230/U 234 ages of raised Pleistocene marine terraces on the Island of Tiran and the southeastern coast of Sinai with some tectonic implications. IAS 10th International Congress on Sedimentology. Jerusalem, Abs 1:258–259Google Scholar
  63. Grammer GM, Ginsburg RN, Swart PK, McNeill DF, Jull AJT, Prezbindowski DR (1993) Rapid growth rates of syndepositional marine aragonite cements in steep marginal slope deposits, Bahamas and Belize. J Sedimen Petrol 63:983–989Google Scholar
  64. Guiraud R, Bosworth W, Thierry J, Delplanque A (2005) Phanerozoic geological evolution of Northern and Central Africa: An overview. In: Catuneanu O, Guiraud R, Eriksson P, Thomas B, Shone R, Key R (eds) Phanerozoic evolution of Africa. J Afr Earth Sci 43:83–143Google Scholar
  65. Gvirtzman G (1994) Fluctuations of sea-level during the past 400,000 years: The record of Sinai, Egypt (northern Red Sea). Coral Reefs 13:203–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Gvirtzman G, Buchbinder B (1978) Recent and Pleistocene coral reefs and coastal sediments of the Gulf of Eilat. Tenth International Congress of Sedimentology, Jerusalem, Post-Congress Excursion Y4:163–191Google Scholar
  67. Gvirtzman G, Buchbinder B, Sneh A, Nir Y, Friedman GM (1977) Morphology of the Red Sea fringing reefs: A result of the erosional pattern of the last-glacial-low-stand sea level and the following Holocene recolonization. 2e Symposium International sur les Coraux et Récifs Coralliens Fossils. Mem Bur Rech Min 89:480–491Google Scholar
  68. Gvirtzman G, Friedman GM (1977) Sequence of progressive diagenesis in coral reefs. Am Assoc Petrol Geol Stud Geol 4:357–380Google Scholar
  69. Gvirtzman G, Kronfeld J, Buchbinder B (1992) Dated coral reefs of southern Sinai (Red Sea) and their implication to the Late Quaternary sea-levels. Mar Geol 108:29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Hall WJ, Standen R (1907) On the Mollusca of a raised coral reef on the Red Sea coast. J Conch 12:65–68Google Scholar
  71. Hamed B (2015) Pleistocene reefs of the Red Sea coast, Sudan: Depositional environments, fossil coral, age dating and diagenesis. Ph.D. Thesis, Technische Universität Berlin, 131 pp.
  72. Hamed B, Bussert R, Dominik W (2016) Stratigraphy and evolution of emerged Pleistocene reefs at the Red Sea coast of Sudan. J Afr Earth Sci 114:133–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Hartman G, Niemi TN, Ben-Avraham Z, Tibor G, Al-Zoubi A, Sade RA, Hall JK, Akawi E, Abueladas A, Al-Ruzouq R, Makovsky Y (2015) Distinct relict fringing reefs in the northern shelf of the Gulf of Elat/Aqaba: Markers of Quaternary eustatic and climatic episodes. Sedimentology 62:516–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Hoang CT, Dalongeville R, Sanlaville P (1996) Stratigraphy, tectonics and palaeoclimatic implications of uranium-series-dated coral reefs from the Sudanese coast of the Red Sea. Quatern Int 31:47–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Hoang CT, Lalou C, Faure H (1974) Les récifs soulevés à l’ouest du golfe d’Aden (TFAI) et les hauts niveaux de coraux de la dépression de l’Afar (Ethiopie), géochronologie et paléoclimats interglaciaires. In: Les méthodes quantitatives d’étude des variations du climat au cours du Pléistocène. Colloq Internation Centre Nation Rech Scient, Paris, 219:103–114Google Scholar
  76. Hoang CT, Taviani M (1991) Stratigraphic and tectonic implications of uranium-series-dated coral reefs from uplifted Red Sea Islands. Quatern Res 35:264–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Hofstetter A (2003) Seismic observations of the 22/11/1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquake sequence. Tectonophysics 369:21–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Hume WF (1906) The topography and geology of the peninsula of Sinai (southern portion). Survey Dept Egypt, Cairo, p 280Google Scholar
  79. Hume WF, Little WH (1928) Raised beaches and terraces of Egypt. First Rep Comm on Pliocene and Pleistocene Terraces, Paris, pp 9–15Google Scholar
  80. Ivanovich M, Harmon RS (1992) Uranium-series Disequilibrium: Applications to Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 911Google Scholar
  81. Johnson PR, Kattan FH (2012) The Geology of the Saudi Arabian Shield. Saudi Geological Survey, Jeddah, p 479Google Scholar
  82. Kröner A (1979) Pan African plate tectonics and its repercussions on the crust of northeast Africa. Geol Rundsch 68:565–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Lake JH (2004) Early marine cementation in Upper Devonian (Duperow Formation) carbonates in southwestern Saskatchewan. In: Summary of Investigations 2004, 1. Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Sask Industry Resources, Misc Rep 2004–4.1, CD-ROM, Paper A-6, 3 ppGoogle Scholar
  84. Lambeck K, Purcell A, Flemming NC, Vita-Finzi C, Alsharekh AM, Bailey GN (2011) Sea level and shoreline reconstructions for the Red Sea: Isostatic and tectonic considerations and implications for homin migration out of Africa. Quatern Sci Rev 30:3542–3574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Locke S, Thunell RC (1988) Paleoceanographic record of the last glacial/interglacial cycle in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Palaeogeogr Paleoclimatol Palaeocol 64:163–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Manaa AA (2011) Late Pleistocene raised coral reefs in the eastern Red Sea—Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. M.Sc. Thesis, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia.
  87. Manaa AA, Jones BG, McGregor HV, Zhao J, Price DM (2016) Dating Quaternary raised coral terraces along the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast. Mar Geol 374:59–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Mansour AM, Madkour HA (2015) Raised coral reefs and sediments in the coastal area of the Red Sea. In: Rasul NMA, Stewart ICF (eds) The Red Sea: the formation, morphology, oceanography and environment of a young ocean Basin. Springer Earth System Sciences, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 379–393Google Scholar
  89. Marchesan M, Taviani M (1994) Biological modification of coral reef molluscan assemblages during a glacial-interglacial cycle (Red Sea, Egypt). Mem Descr Carta Geol It 52:57–58Google Scholar
  90. Mazzullo SJ, Cys JM (1978) In-situ formation of botryoidal aragonite on Permian seafloor. Am Assoc Petrol Geol Bull 63:493Google Scholar
  91. McCulloch MT, Esat T (2000) The coral record of last interglacial sea levels and sea surface temperatures. Chem Geol 169:107–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Mergner H, Schuhmacher H (1974) Morphologie, okologie und zonierung von korallenriffen bei Aqaba (Gulf von Aqaba, Rotes Meer). Helgoländer Wissensc Meeresunt 26:238–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Mewis H, Kiessling W (2013) Environmentally controlled succession in a late Pleistocene coral reef (Sinai, Egypt). Coral Reefs 32:49–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Montaggioni LF, Braithwaite CJR (2009) Quaternary Coral Reef Systems, History, development processes and controlling factors. Developments in Marine Geology 5, Elsevier, 550 ppGoogle Scholar
  95. Moon FW (1923) Preliminary geological report on St. John’s Island (Red Sea). Geol Surv Egypt Government Press, Cairo, Egypt, p 36Google Scholar
  96. Nardini S (1937) Molluschi delle spiagge emerse del Mar Rosso e dell’Oceano Indiano. Parte II (Lamellibranchi). Palaeontogr It 37:225–247Google Scholar
  97. Newton RB (1900) Pleistocene shells from the raised beach deposits of the Red Sea. Geol Mag 7(500–514):544–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Orszag-Sperber F, Plaziat F, Baltzer F, Purser BH (2001) Gypsum salina-coral reef relationships during the Last Interglacial (MIS 5e) on the Egyptian Red Sea coast: A Quaternary analogue for Neogene marginal evaporites? Sediment Geol 140:65–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Ostermann M, Sanders D, Prager C, Kramers J (2007) Aragonite and calcite cementation in “boulder-controlled” meteoric environments on the Fern Pass rockslide (Austria): Implications for radiometric age dating of catastrophic mass movements. Facies 53:189–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Plaziat J-C, Purser BH, Soliman M (1989) Localisaton et organisation interne de récifs coralliens immatures sur un cone alluvial du Quaternarie ancien de la Mer Rouge (Sud de l'Egypt). Géol Médit 16:41–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Plaziat J-C, Baltzer F, Choukri A, Conchon O, Freytet P, Orszag-Sperber F, Purser BH, Raguideau A, Reyss J-L (1995) Quaternary changes in the Egyptian shoreline of the northwestern Red Sea and Gulf of Suez. Quatern Int 29–30:11–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Plaziat J-C, Baltzer F, Choukri A, Conchon O, Freytet P, Orszag-Sperber F, Raguideau A, Reyss JL (1998) Quaternary marine and continental sedimentation in the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Suez (Egyptian coast): Influences of rift tectonics, climatic changes and sea-level fluctuations. In: Purser BH, Bosence DWJ (eds) Sedimentation and tectonics of rift basins: Red Sea-Gulf of Aden. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 537–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Plaziat J-C, Reyss J-L, Choukri A, Cazala C (2008) Diagenetic rejuvenation of raised coral reefs and precision of dating. The contribution of the Red Sea reefs to the question of reliability of the Uranium-series datings of middle to late Pleistocene key reef-terraces of the world. Carn Géol 4:1–40Google Scholar
  104. Pons-Branchu E, Douville E, Roy-Barman M, Dumont E, Branchu P, Thil F, Frank N, Bordier L, Borst W (2014) A geochemical perspective on Parisian urban history based on U-Th dating, laminae counting and yttrium and REE concentrations of recent carbonates in underground aqueducts. Quatern Geochronol 24:44–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Ragani L (1997) Echinoid fauna from the Quaternary fringing reef of Aqaba (Jordan). Palaeontogr It 84:1–19Google Scholar
  106. Reiss Z, Hottinger L (1984) The Gulf of Aqaba: Ecological Micropaleontology. Ecological Studies 50, Springer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York Tokyo, 355 ppGoogle Scholar
  107. Reiss Z, Luz B, Almogi-Labin A, Halicz E, Winter A, Wolf M, Ross DA (1980) Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat), Red Sea. Quatern Res 14:294–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Rimbu N, Lohmann G, Felis T, Pätzold J (2001) Arctic Oscillation signature in a Red Sea coral. Geophys Res Lett 28(15):2959–2962CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Roberts HH, Aharon P, Walsh MM (1993) Cold-seep carbonates of the Louisiana continental slope-to-basin floor. In: Rezak R, Lavoie DL (eds) Carbonate Microfabrics. Springer, Berlin, pp 95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Roobol MJ, Al-Rehaili M, Arab N, Celebi M, Halawani MA, Janjou D, Kazi A, Martin C, Sahl M, Showail A (1999) The Gulf of Aqaba Earthquake of 22 November, 1995: Its effects in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian Deputy Ministry for Mineral Resources Technical Report BRGM-TR-99-16, 67 ppGoogle Scholar
  111. Sandford KS, Arkell WJ (1928) Paleolithic Man and the Nile Valley in lower Egypt with some notes upon a part of the Red Sea littoral. A study of the regions during Pliocene and Pleistocene times. The University of Chicago Press, pp 1–189Google Scholar
  112. Savard MM, Beauchamp B, Veizer J (1996) Significance of aragonite cements around Cretaceous marine methane seeps. J Sediment Res 66(3):430–438Google Scholar
  113. Schick AP (1958) Tiran: The straits, the island, and its terraces. Israel Explor J 8(3):189–196Google Scholar
  114. Scholz D, Mangini A, Felis T (2004) U-series dating of diagenetically altered fossil reef corals. Earth Planet Sci Lett 218:163–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Selli R (1973) Molluschi quaternari di Massaua e di Gibuti. In: Missione Geologica A.G.I.P. nella Dancalia meridionale e sugli altopiani Hararini (1936–1938), Docum Paleont Accad Naz Lincei Roma 4:151-444Google Scholar
  116. Steckler MS, ten Brink US (1986) Lithospheric strength variations as a control on new plate boundaries; examples from the northern Red Sea region. Earth Planet Sci Lett 79:12159–12173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Stern RJ (1994) Arc assembly and continental collision in the Neoproterozoic East African Orogen: implications for consolidation of Gondwanaland. Ann Rev Earth Planet Sci 22:319–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Stern RJ, Johnson P (2010) Continental lithosphere of the Arabian Plate: a geologic, petrologic, and geophysical synthesis. Earth-Sci Rev 101:29–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Strasser A, Strohmenger C (1997) Early diagenesis in Pleistocene coral reefs, southern Sinai, Egypt: Response to tectonics, sea-level and climate. Sedimentology 44:537–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Strasser A, Strohmenger C, Davaud E, Bach A (1992) Sequential evolution and diagenesis of Pleistocene coral reefs (South Sinai; Egypt). Sediment Geol 78:59–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  121. Taviani M (1994) The ever changing climate: Late Quaternary paleoclimatic modifications of the Red Sea region as deduced from coastal and deep-sea geological data. In: Proc Egyptian-Italian Seminar on “Geosciences and Archeology in the Mediterranean Countries”. Geol Survey of Egypt, Spec Publ 70:193–200Google Scholar
  122. Taviani M (1998a) Post-Miocene reef faunas of the Red Sea: Glacio-eustatic controls. In: Purser BH, Bosence DWJ (eds) Sedimentation and tectonics of rift basins: Red Sea-Gulf of Aden. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 574–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  123. Taviani M (1998b) Axial sedimentation of the Red Sea Transitional Region (22–25 N): Pelagic, gravity flow and sapropel deposition during the late Quaternary. In: Purser BH, Bosence DWJ (eds) Sedimentation and tectonics of rift basins: Red Sea-Gulf of Aden. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 467–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  124. Taviani M (1998c) Stable tropics not so stable: Climatically driven extinctions of reef-associated molluscan assemblages (Red Sea and western Indian Ocean; last interglaciation to present). In: Camoin GF, Davis G (eds) Reefs and Carbonate platforms in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Spec Publ Intl Assoc Sedimentologists, pp 69–76Google Scholar
  125. Taviani M (2001) Fluid venting and associated processes. In: Martini P (ed) Vai GB. The Apennines and adjacent Mediterranean Basin. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Anatomy of an Orogen, pp 351–366Google Scholar
  126. Taviani M, Franchi F, Angeletti L, Correggiari A, Lopez Correa M, Maselli V, Mazzoli C, Peckmann J (2016) Biodetrital carbonates on the Adriatic continental shelf imprinted by oxidation of seeping hydrocarbons. Mar Petrol Geol 66:511–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  127. Taviani M, Hoang C-T, Pini A, Rabbi E (1987) Massive aragonite submarine lithification of reefal and non-reefal host rocks: Examples from the Red Sea. 8th IAS Regional Meeting of Sedimentology, Tunis (Tunisia), 1–3 April 1987, Abstracts, pp 534–535Google Scholar
  128. Taviani M, Rabbi E (1984) Marine botryoidal aragonite in Pleistocene reef limestones of Red Sea offshore islands (Northern Brother and Rocky Island). Min Petrogr Acta 27:49–56Google Scholar
  129. Taviani M, Bonatti E, Colantoni P, Rossi PL (1986) Tectonically uplifted crustal blocks in the northern Red Sea: Data from the Brothers islets. Mem Soc Geol Ital 27(1984):47–50Google Scholar
  130. Tawadros E (2001) Geology of Egypt and Libya. AA Balkema, Rotterdam, p 468Google Scholar
  131. Veeh HH, Giegengack R (1970) Uranium-series ages of corals from the Red Sea. Nature 226:155–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  132. Walter RC, Buffler RT, Bruggemann JH, Guillaume MMM, Berhe SM, Negassi B, Libsekal Y, Cheng H, Edwards RL, von Cosel R, Néeraudeau D, Gagnon M (2000) Early human occupation of the Red Sea coast of Eritrea during the last interglacial. Nature 405(6782):65CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Taviani
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Paolo Montagna
    • 1
    • 4
  • Najeeb M. A. Rasul
    • 5
  • Lorenzo Angeletti
    • 1
    Email author
  • William Bosworth
    • 6
  1. 1.Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR-CNR)BolognaItaly
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  3. 3.Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa ComunaleNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA
  5. 5.Center for Marine Geology, Saudi Geological SurveyJeddahSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Apache Egypt CompaniesNew MaadiEgypt

Personalised recommendations