• Samir M Zaid

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Provenance of coastal dune sands along Red Sea, Egypt

      Samir M Zaid

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      Texture, mineralogy, and major and trace element geochemistry of 26 coastal dune sand samples were studied to determine the provenance and tectonic environment of two dune fields close to the beaches of Safaga (SF) and Quseir (QS) at the Egyptian Red Sea coast. Onshore winds generate fine, moderate, moderately-well to well-sorted, coarse-skewed to near-symmetrical dune sands with mesokurtic distributions. Winds pick up and transport grains from nearby beach sands and alluvial deposits into a wide Red Sea coastal plain at the border of the beach. The mineralogical (Qt–Ft–Lt) and geochemical composition of the sands, indicate that SF and QS coastal dune sands are mature and influenced by quartz-rich sands. The average CIA values in SF and QS coastal dune sands are low relative to the range of the PAAS, suggesting an arid climate and a low intensity of chemical weathering. The SF and QS coastal dune sand samples are plotted in the recycled orogen and partly in craton interior fields suggesting recycled older sedimentary and partly metamorphic-plutonic sources. The high content of quartz with shell debris and carbonates in coastal dune sands support the recycled sedimentary beach and alluvial sand sources. The dominance of heavy minerals like amphiboles (hornblende) and biotite in the coastal dune sands also supports the effect of metamorphic-plutonic source rocks. The new tectonic discriminant-function diagrams suggest that the coastal dune sands were deposited in a passive margin of a synrift basin. The results provide a good evidence for the extension in the Red Sea rift system during Oligocene-post Pliocene, which is consistent with the general geology of Egypt.

    • Petrography and geochemistry of the Middle Miocene Gebel El Rusas sandstones, Eastern Desert, Egypt: Implications for provenance and tectonic setting

      Samir M Zaid

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      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.

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