Geology of North Africa: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Geology of North Africa

1st Edition

By Edward Tawadros

CRC Press

930 pages

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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).

Table of Contents



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

About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / General
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology
SCIENCE / Geophysics
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Mineralogy