Abstract

Because Upper Egypt (stable shelf, pre-rift) contains some of the most expanded and continuous stratigraphic records of the biologic and chemical changes across the P-E transition, the P/E Boundary Working Group have conducted over the course of the last four years a series of integrated studies on this anomalous interval. These studies have led to the recognition of several bio- and chemostratigraphic events that can serve to denote the P/E boundary and to correlate upper Paleocene-lower Eocene stratigraphic successions that were deposited at different bathymetries in the southern Nile Valley. The main bioevents that occur within this stratigraphic interval (that spans from the upper Tarawan Limestone to the basal Thebes Limestone, and ecompasses the entire Esna Shale Formation) are identified and correlated in terms of pre-CIE-Interval, CIE-Interval and post-CIE-Interval. Faunal patterns and mechanism of faunal changes as well as paleoecologic inferences from these changes are described and discussed for the warming episode associated with the CIE-interval as well as for the intervals immediately preceding and following it. Stratigraphic correlations of upper Paleocene-lower Eocene sections in the southern Nile Valley are correlated based on the most prominent events. The biostratigraphy of the Tarawan Chalk and Esna Shale are correlated with the Integrated Magnetobiostratigraphic scale of Berggren et al. (1995). The vertical (stratigraphic) and lateral (geographic) changes in biota and depositional environments and their facies variants are examined over ~300 km from the vicinity of Qena (in the north) to Wadi Abu Ghurra in the southwestern Nile Valley.

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