1st Edition

Geology of North Africa

By Edward Tawadros Copyright 2011
    930 Pages
    by CRC Press

    930 Pages
    by CRC Press

    A reference volume on the geology of North Africa, this volume deals with Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In great detail the geology, tectonic elements, the geology of the Pan-African Shield, the Phanerozoic geological evolution and most of the lithostratigrahpic units of the five countries are described. Moreover, the petroleum geology and petroleum systems are discussed, as well as the history of geological exploration.

    With the incentive to provide a reference to the geology of North Africa that can be used both by professionals and students, this review work provides a large amount of data, based on more than 2500 references. Written in a clear, straight-forward and structured style, and with many schematic maps, it allows the reader to easily search a topic and find further information with help of the extensive bibliography.

    This volume is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students, professional geologists and geophysicists, who are working in North Africa and the Middle East. It is ideally suited for any professional who is looking for a quick, round-up reference on the geology of North Africa. It is an expanded and revised version of ‘The Geology of Egypt and Libya’ by the same author (Balkema, 2001).


    About the author 


    1. Introduction 
    1.1 Egypt 
    1.2 Libya 
    1.3 Algeria 
    1.4 Tunisia 
    1.5 Morocco 


    2. Northeast Africa’s Basins 
    2.1 Mediterranean Basin 
    2.2 Alboran Sea 
    2.3 Nile Basin 
    2.4 Northern Egypt Basin 
    2.5 Gulf of Suez & Red Sea 
    2.5.1 Evolution of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez 
    2.6 Cyrenaica/Marmarica Platform 
    2.7 Sirte Basin 
    2.7.1 Evolution of the Sirte Basin 
    2.8 Murzuq Basin 
    2.9 Ghadames Basin 
    2.10 Kufra Basin 
    2.11 Jifarah Basin 

    3. Tertiary volcanics 

    4. Northwest Africa’s Basins 
    4.1 Algerian Basins 
    4.2 Tunisian Basins 
    4.3 Moroccan Basins 
    4.3.1 Evolution of the Atlas Mountains 
    4.4 Western High Atlas 
    4.5 Argana Basin 
    4.6 Souss Basin 
    4.7 Haouz Basin 
    4.7.1 Tectonic history of the Meseta Domain 
    4.8 The Atlantic Passive Margin 
    4.9 Moroccan Marginal Basins 
    4.10 Agadir, Tarfaya, and Essaouira Basins 
    4.11 Essaouira-Haha Basin 
    4.12 Guercif Basin
    4.13 Tafilalt & Maider sub-Basins 


    5. Precambrian
    5.1 Stratigraphy 
    5.1.1 Gneisses and migmatites 
    5.1.2 Metasediments 
    5.1.3 Old metasediments 
    5.1.4 Old metavolcanics 
    5.1.5 Serpentinites 
    5.1.6 Gabbros 
    5.1.7 Granitoids 
    5.1.8 Dokhan volcanics
    5.1.9 Younger gabbros 
    5.1.10 Younger granites 
    5.1.11 Trachyte plugs (post-Hammamat felsites) 
    5.1.12 Swarm dikes 
    5.1.13 Ring dike complexes 
    5.2 Evolution of the Pan-African Shield 
    5.2.1 I. Lower Gebel Oweinat cycle 
    5.2.2 II. Upper Gebel Oweinat cycle Rodinia Supercontinent (1300–1000 Ma) 
    5.2.3 III. Lower magmatic-arc cycle Platform and ocean basin assemblages Ophiolite assemblages Volcanic-arc assemblages Older granitoids, gneisses & migmatization (987–670 Ma) 
    5.2.4 IV. Upper Magmatic-Arc Cycle (650–550 Ma) Upper magmatic-arc sequence of the Northern Eastern Desert Hammamat sediments (616–590 Ma) Younger granites (615–550 Ma) Dokhan volcanics Younger gabbros Upper magmatic-arc sequence in Southern Sinai Upper magmatic-arc sequence of Libya and South-Central Algeria 
    5.2.5 V. Post-Tectonic Cycle Ring dike complexes and Swarm dikes Feldspathic and quartzose sandstones 
    5.3 Summary 


    6. Phanerozoic geology of Egypt 
    6.1 Introduction 
    6.2 Paleozoic 
    6.3 Cambrian and Ordovician 
    6.4 Silurian 
    6.5 Devonian 
    6.6 Carboniferous 

    7. Mesozoic 
    7.1 Triassic-Lower Cretaceous 
    7.2 Triassic 
    7.3 Jurassic 
    7.3.1 Jurassic of Sinai 
    7.3.2 Jurassic of the Northern Western Desert (Northern Egypt Basin) 
    7.4 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous 
    7.4.1 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous of the Southern Western Desert 
    7.4.2 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous of the Northern Western Desert 
    7.4.3 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous of Sinai 
    7.5 Upper Cretaceous 
    7.5.1 Upper Cretaceous of the Northern Western Desert 
    7.5.2 Cenomanian-Santonian Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Santonian) of Sinai and the Gulf of Suez region Cenomanian-Santonian of the central Nile Valley and the Eastern Desert Cenomanian-Santonian of Southern Egypt 
    7.5.3 Campanian Maastrichtian chalks Maastrichtian-Paleocene shales Upper Cretaceous-Tertiary succession in extreme Southern Egypt The nature of the Upper Cretaceous-Early Tertiary contact (unconformities) 

    8. Tertiary 
    8.1 Eocene 
    8.1.1 Lower Eocene (Ypresian) 
    8.1.2 Middle Eocene 
    8.1.3 Upper Eocene (Bartonian) 
    8.2 Oligocene 
    8.2.1 Miocene of the Northern Western Desert of Egypt 
    8.2.2 Miocene in the subsurface of the Nile Delta and its offshore area 
    8.2.3 Miocene of the Gulf of Suez and Red Sea region
    9. Tertiary-Quaternary 
    9.1 Pliocene-Pleistocene 
    9.1.1 Pliocene-Pleistocene sediments of the Nile Valley 
    9.1.2 Pliocene-Pleistocene in the subsurface and the offshore of the Nile Delta 
    9.1.3 Pliocene-Pleistocene of the Western Desert (Northern Egypt Basin) 
    9.1.4 Pliocene-Pleistocene of the Gulf of Suez and Red Sea region 
    9.1.5 Pliocene-Pleistocene of Sinai 

    10. Quaternary (Pleistocene-Holocene) 

    11. Phanerozoic geology of Libya 
    11.1 Introduction 

    12. Paleozoic 
    12.1 Cambrian and Ordovician 
    12.1.1 Cambrian and Ordovician of West Libya 
    12.1.2 Cambrian and Ordovician of the Sirte Basin 
    12.1.3 Cambrian and Ordovician of the Kufrah Basin 
    12.1.4 Cambrian and Ordovician of Northeast Libya 
    12.2 Silurian 
    12.2.1 Silurian of West Libya 
    12.2.2 Silurian of the Kufrah Basin 
    12.3 Devonian 
    12.3.1 Devonian of West Libya 
    12.3.2 Devonian of the Sirte Basin 
    12.3.3 Devonian of the Kufrah Basin 
    12.3.4 Devonian of Northeast Libya 
    12.4 Carboniferous 
    12.4.1 Carboniferous of West Libya 
    12.4.2 Carboniferous of the Sirte Basin 
    12.4.3 Carboniferous of Northeast Libya 
    12.4.4 Carboniferous of the Kufrah Basin 
    12.5 Permian 

    13. Mesozoic 
    13.1 Triassic-Early Cretaceous 
    13.2 Triassic 
    13.2.1 Triassic of Northwest Libya 
    13.2.2 Triassic of Northeast Libya & the Sirte Basin 
    13.2.3 Triassic of the Kufrah Basin 
    13.3 Jurassic 
    13.3.1 Jurassic of Northwest Libya 
    13.4 Mesozoic Continental Sediments 
    13.4.1 Nubian Sandstones/continental intercalcaire 
    13.4.2 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous (Neocomian) of the Sirte Basin 
    13.4.3 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous (Neocomian) of Northeast Libya 
    13.4.4 Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous (Neocomian) of the Kufrah Basin 
    13.5 Aptian-Albian 
    13.6 Upper Cretaceous 
    13.6.1 Upper Cretaceous of Northeast Libya 
    13.6.2 Upper Cretaceous of Northwest Libya 
    13.6.3 Upper Cretaceous of the Sirte Basin 

    14. Tertiary 
    14.1 Paleocene 
    14.1.1 Paleocene of offshore Northwest Libya 
    14.1.2 Paleocene of Northwest Libya 
    14.1.3 Paleocene of the Sirte Basin 
    14.1.4 Paleocene of Northeast Libya 
    14.2 Eocene 
    14.2.1 Eocene of Northwest Libya & the Sirte Basin 
    14.2.2 Lower Eocene (Ypresian) 
    14.2.3 A review of the Gir Formation 
    14.2.4 The Gir Formation in the subsurface of the Sirte Basin 
    14.2.5 Middle Eocene (Lutetian) 
    14.2.6 Revision of the Wadi Tamet Formation 
    14.2.7 Middle Eocene in the subsurface of the Sirte Basin 
    14.2.8 Upper Eocene (Bartonian) 
    14.2.9 Eocene of offshore Northwest Libya 
    14.2.10 Eocene of Northeast Libya 
    14.3 Oligocene 
    14.3.1 Oligocene of Northeast Libya 
    14.3.2 Oligocene of the Sirte Basin 
    14.3.3 Oligocene of Northwest Libya 
    14.4 Miocene 
    14.4.1 Miocene of the Sirte Basin 
    14.4.2 Miocene of Northeast Libya 
    14.4.3 Miocene of Northwest Libya & offshore 
    14.5 Pliocene-Pleistocene 
    14.6 Pleistocene-Holocene 

    15. Phanerozoic geology of Algeria 
    15.1 Lithostratigraphy of the Sahara Platform 
    15.2 Paleozoic 
    15.2.1 Cambrian/Ordovician of the Sahara Platform 
    15.2.2 Silurian 
    15.2.3 Devonian 
    15.2.4 Carboniferous 
    15.3 Mesozoic 
    15.3.1 Triassic 
    15.3.2 Jurassic 
    15.3.3 Cretaceous 
    15.4 Tertiary of Algeria 
    15.4.1 Paleocene 
    15.4.2 Eocene 
    15.4.3 Oligocene/Miocene 
    15.4.4 Pliocene and Quaternary 

    16. Phanerozoic geology of Tunisia 
    16.1 Introduction 
    16.2 Phanerozoic Geology of Tunisia 
    16.2.1 Precambrian 
    16.2.2 Paleozoic of Tunisia Cambrian Ordovician Silurian Devonian Carboniferous Permian 
    16.2.3 Mesozoic of Tunisia Triassic Jurassic Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Lower Cretaceous of Tunisia Aptian-Albian of Central Tunisia 
    16.2.4 Tertiary Paleocene Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary Eocene Oligocene-Miocene of Tunisia Pliocene of Tunisia Quaternary 

    17. Phanerozoic geology of Morocco 
    17.1 Introduction 
    17.2 Tectonic Subdivisions of Morocco 
    17.3 Sahara Platform 
    17.4 Anti-Atlas 
    17.4.1 Phanerozoic stratigraphy of the Atlas Mountains Cambrian Ordovician Silurian Devonian Carboniferous 
    17.4.2 Atlas Mountains Permian-Jurassic (Central High Atlas) Jurassic Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous 
    17.4.3 Western High Atlas 
    17.4.4 Atlantic Passive Margin 
    17.5 Tertiary 
    17.5.1 Tertiary of the Central High Atlas Oligocene-Pleistocene Quaternary 


    18. Petroleum Geology & Petroleum Systems of North Afrika
    18.1 Introduction 
    18.2 Tectono-Depositional Phases 
    18.3 Tectono-Stratigraphic Provinces in North Africa 
    19 Hydrocarbon systems in North Africa 
    19.1 Neoproterzoic petroleum systems in North Africa 
    19.2 Phanerozoic Petroleum Systems 
    19.2.1 Egypt’s hydrocarbon systems 
    19.2.2 Libya’s hydrocarbon systems 
    19.2.3 Algeria’s hydrocarbon systems 
    19.2.4 Tunisia’s hydrocarbon systems 
    19.2.5 Morocco’s hydrocarbon systems 


    20. Phanerozoic geological history
    20.1 Introduction 
    20.2 Phanerozoic 
    20.3 Lower megasequence 
    20.3.1 Paleozoic Cambrian period Ordovician period Silurian period Devonian period Carboniferous period Permian period 
    20.3.2 Mesozoic Triassic period 
    20.3.3 Early Triassic (Scythian) 
    20.3.4 Upper Triassic (Carnian-Rhetian) 
    20.3.5 Continental Triassic Jurassic period 
    20.3.6 Middle Jurassic 
    20.3.7 Upper Jurassic Continental Upper Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Aptian-Albian Aptian Albian 
    20.4 Middle Megasequence 
    20.4.1 Cretaceous Upper Cretaceous period Cenomanian-Turonian Coniacian-Santonian Campanian Maastrichtian 
    20.4.2 Tertiary Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary Paleocene period Eocene period Basinal facies (facies 1–2) Fore-bank facies (facies 3) Bank facies (facies 4) Back-bank facies (facies 5–6) Lagoonal-littoral facies (facies 7–8) Lagoonal-evaporitic facies (facies 9) 
    20.5 Upper Megasequence 
    20.5.1 Oligocene period 
    20.5.2 Miocene period 
    20.5.3 Pliocene period
    20.5.4 Quaternary (Pleistocene-Holocene) 

    Subject index 
    Color plates



    Ed Tawadros, Ph.D., P. Geol., is an international geological consultant based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Educated in Egypt, Scotland and Canada and specialized as an applied geologist, he worked for a number of consulting and major oil companies in Egypt, Canada, Libya, Argentina and other countries. With a rich research and publication career in the geology of Northern Africa, he is a true specialist in this area. Dr Tawadros has also written several papers on the geology of Canada and is currently active in Argentina. Besides a PhD in Geology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, he holds a BA Major in Spanish from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.