International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Biostratigraphy and paleoecology of the Burdigalian–Serravallian sediments in Wadi Sudr (Gulf of Suez, Egypt): comparison with the Central Paratethys evolution

Pages: 233 - 249


Abstract: Two main Miocene facies were recorded in the Gulf of Suez area: a deep marine and a coastal facies. The analysed sections in the Wadi Sudr area belong to the marine facies. The Lower Miocene (Burdigalian) is represented by coastal, shallow marine sediments, rich in coral, algae, gastropods and large pectinids followed by Langhian open marine sediments and Serravallian lagoonal carbonates. The open marine sediments contain well preserved planktonic and benthic foraminifers and abundant ostracods. The parts of the sections containing foraminifers have been correlated with three planktonic foraminiferal zones (Praeorbulina glomerosa Zone, Orbulina Zone and Globorotalia praemenardii–Globorotalia peripheroronda Zone). Two benthic ecozones were defined (Heterolepa dutemplei–Laevidentalina elegans Zone and Bolivina compressa–Elphidium spp. Zone). Two cycles of sea-level changes can be distinguished and correlated with global sea-level cycles Bur5/Lan1 and Ser1. The first (Langhian) cycle culminated in open marine sublittoral to upper bathyal well aerated sediments. The second (Serravallian) cycle was shallower, littoral suboxic sediments were overlaid by euryhaline carbonates. The studied foraminifera-bearing sediments can be correlated with the lower and Middle Badenian of the Central Paratethys. Though the area of the Gulf of Suez and the Central Paratethys were situated in different climatic zones, and influenced by different tectonic events, the main paleoenvironmental events (sea-level changes, oxygen decrease, salinity changes) are comparable. This correspondence shows that the decisive factors triggering these events were global climatic events.

Keywords: Miocene, Paratethys, Egypt, Gulf of Suez, paleoecology, biostratigraphy, foraminifers

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