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Book Chapter

Palaeozoic glacial depositional environments of SW Saudi Arabia: process and product

By
Martin Keller
Martin Keller
Geozentrum Nordbayern, Abt. Krustendynamik, Schlossgarten 5, D-91054 Erlangen, GermanyGesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbiet-International Services (GTZ-IS), P.O. Box 2730, 11461 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Matthias Hinderer
Matthias Hinderer
Institut für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, TU Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstrasse 9, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
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Hussain Al-Ajmi
Hussain Al-Ajmi
Ministry of Water and Electricity, Water Resources Development Department, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Randolf Rausch
Randolf Rausch
Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbiet-International Services (GTZ-IS), P.O. Box 2730, 11461 Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaInstitut für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, TU Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstrasse 9, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Saudi Arabia is one of the few places in Gondwana where deposits of two Palaeozoic glaciations are well preserved. They were formed under similar conditions in a tectonically stable shelf setting. We studied the sedimentary facies and architectural geometries of Upper Ordovician and Permo-Carboniferous glaciogenic deposits in the Wajid Sandstone and developed a genetic model for both units. Common features and of both glacial episodes are (a) incision of glacial (tunnel?) valleys, (b) subsequent valley fill by proglacial deposits in front of an oscillating, polythermal ice shield; (c) intra-formational erosional events through repeated ice advance, (d) widespread and large-scale soft deformation due to glacial surge during deglaciation, and (e) marine transgression most probably due to eustatic sea-level rise following deglaciation. The general patterns and observations fit well with recently published observations on Upper Ordovician deposits in northern Africa, pointing to closely coupled glaciological processes of the North African–Arabian ice shield. Although the same general patterns apply for the Permo-Carboniferous glaciation, sedimentary styles and petrographical properties differ, probably due to a more heterogeneous ice-flow pattern controlled by a more pronounced topography after the Hercynian tectonic event.

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Contents

Geological Society Special Publication

Ice-Marginal and Periglacial Processes and Sediments

I. P. Martini
I. P. Martini
University of Guelph, Canada
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H. M. French
H. M. French
University of Guelph, Canada
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A. PéRez Alberti
A. PéRez Alberti
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Geological Society of London
Volume
354
ISBN electronic:
9781862396029
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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