Abstract

We describe the planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the ~61m thick stratigraphic section spanning the Tarawan Chalk (~17 m) and Esna Shale (~44 m) at Gebel Owaina and the ~35m thick section spanning the total thickness of the Esna Shale at Gebel Kilabiya, ~10km west of Owaina. The Owaina section spans Zones P4a (partim) to P6a (partim), whereas Kilabiya spans Zones P4c (partim) to P6a (partim). The Esna/Thebes contact at both localities is marked by a distinct angular unconformity within Zone P6a and a hiatus estimated >3 my; the sections are thus considerably less complete than at Dababiya, ~25km to the north. The recently revised Paleocene/Eocene boundary is located in both sections within the lower part of the Esna Shale at ~12m and 16.3m, respectively, above the base of the Esna Shale. The CIE-interval is reduced in both sections (~1m thick at G. Owaina and ~1.5m at G. Kilabiya) and exhibits evidence of a stratigraphic gap/hiatus within its upper part at both localities. The base of the CIE-interval is characterized by the lowest occurrences (LO) of Acarinina sibaiyaensis and marked at its top by the LO of Pseudohastigerina wilcoxensis. At Gebel Owaina the CIE-interval is directly preceded by the LO of Ac. wilcoxensis, Ac. angulosa, Acarinina esnaensis and Igorina broedermanni in descending order, whereas at Kilabiya this sequential order of bioevents is less well developed. Although the characteristic paleontologic trends observed elsewhere are subdued in the Kilabiya section, the latter shows a phased pattern within the CIE-interval comparable to that of the Dababiya Quarry Beds at Dababiya.

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