Petrography and geochemistry of the Middle Miocene Gebel El Rusas sandstones, Eastern Desert, Egypt: Implications for provenance and tectonic setting
Petrography and bulk rock geochemistry of the Middle Miocene sandstones of the lower and upper members of Gebel El Rusas Formation along the Egyptian Red Sea Coastal plain, have been investigated to determine the provenance, tectonic setting, and weathering condition of this formation. The Lower Member is formed mainly of sandstones and conglomerates with clay interbeds. The Upper Member is more calcareous and formed mainly of sandstones and limestones with marls and clays intercalations. Petrographically, the Lower Member sandstones are mostly immature and classified as arkoses with an average framework composition of Q66F29R5, and the Upper Member sandstones are partly submature (more quartzose, less feldspathic) and classified as subarkoses with an average framework composition of Q80F17R3. The Gebel El Rusas sandstones are enriched in Sr, Ba, Zr and Rb and depleted in Co and U, as compared to UCC. The chemical index of alteration (CIA) values suggest moderate weathering conditions. The geochemistry results revealed that the Gebel El Rusas sandstones were derived from felsic-granitic source rocks and deposited in a passive margin of a synrift basin. The inferred tectonic setting for Middle Miocene Gebel El Rusas sandstones in the study area is consistent with the regional geology of the Eastern Desert of Egypt during Middle Miocene.