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Cretaceous (Hauterivian–Cenomanian) palaeoceanographic conditions in southeastern Tethys (Matruh Basin, Egypt): Implications for the Cretaceous climate of northeastern Gondwana

Cretaceous (Hauterivian–Cenomanian) palaeoceanographic conditions in southeastern Tethys (Matruh Basin, Egypt): Implications for the Cretaceous climate of northeastern Gondwana
Cretaceous (Hauterivian–Cenomanian) palaeoceanographic conditions in southeastern Tethys (Matruh Basin, Egypt): Implications for the Cretaceous climate of northeastern Gondwana
Quantitative palynological, sedimentological, and geophysical data analyses of the Cretaceous Abu Tunis 1X well from the Matruh Basin, northwestern Egypt indicate deposition of four major alternating regressive–transgressive successions. Sedimentation was largely affected by the Tethyan 2nd order sea level changes, with minor overprints by regional tectonics. The Lower Cretaceous part of the succession shows regressive sequences of deltafront to delta-top (upper Hauterivian–lowermost upper Barremian), delta channel (upper Aptian–middle Albian), and distal deltaic (upper Albian) settings that were interrupted by transgressive inner–proximal middle shelf deposits (uppermost Barremian–middle Aptian). These sediment packages correspond to Tethyan sea level fall from the late Hauterivian to late Barremian, and to the early–middle Aptian long-term sea level high stand. The Tethyan late Aptian–middle Albian long-term (2nd order) sea level rise was masked by regional late Aptian–Albian uplift, which affected deposition of the later regressive sequence. The Cenomanian shows a change in depositional setting from a proximal inner shelf (lower Cenomanian) to a middle shelf setting (middle–upper Cenomanian), corresponding to the Tethyan long-term latest early–late Cenomanian sea level rise.

We demonstrate that northeastern Gondwana (Egypt) experienced different climatic conditions from other parts of the Northern Gondwana Phytogeographic Province. The climate in Egypt shifted from less warm and more humid conditions of the Hauterivian–early Barremian to a warmer and drier climate during the late Barremian–middle Aptian, although never becoming as dry as western Northern Gondwana. Warmer and more humid conditions were reestablished during the late Aptian and became even more accentuated during the Albian–Cenomanian, in contrast to the warm and much drier climate of Northern Gondwana at that time. Turonian climatic conditions may have been less humid as a result of the breakup of the Western Gondwanan supercontinent and the northeasterly drift of the African continent. The climatic conditions experienced in northeastern Gondwana developed through the early-mid Cretaceous as a result of changes in palaeolatitudinal position, variations in sea level, and shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which drove fluctuations between periods of warm humid and warm dry conditions.
Quantitative Palynofacies Palaeoenvironment Palaeoclimate Intertropical Convergence Zone Cretaceous Tethys Northern Gondwana Egypt
0195-6671
Deaf, Amr S.
c5f1b836-e013-4f99-ac11-32a7d7c006b1
Harding, Ian
5d63b829-a9a7-447f-aa3f-62e8d0e715cb
Marshall, John
cba178e3-91aa-49a2-b2ce-4b8d9d870b06
Deaf, Amr S.
c5f1b836-e013-4f99-ac11-32a7d7c006b1
Harding, Ian
5d63b829-a9a7-447f-aa3f-62e8d0e715cb
Marshall, John
cba178e3-91aa-49a2-b2ce-4b8d9d870b06

Deaf, Amr S., Harding, Ian and Marshall, John (2020) Cretaceous (Hauterivian–Cenomanian) palaeoceanographic conditions in southeastern Tethys (Matruh Basin, Egypt): Implications for the Cretaceous climate of northeastern Gondwana. Cretaceous Research, 106, [104229]. (doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2019.104229).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Quantitative palynological, sedimentological, and geophysical data analyses of the Cretaceous Abu Tunis 1X well from the Matruh Basin, northwestern Egypt indicate deposition of four major alternating regressive–transgressive successions. Sedimentation was largely affected by the Tethyan 2nd order sea level changes, with minor overprints by regional tectonics. The Lower Cretaceous part of the succession shows regressive sequences of deltafront to delta-top (upper Hauterivian–lowermost upper Barremian), delta channel (upper Aptian–middle Albian), and distal deltaic (upper Albian) settings that were interrupted by transgressive inner–proximal middle shelf deposits (uppermost Barremian–middle Aptian). These sediment packages correspond to Tethyan sea level fall from the late Hauterivian to late Barremian, and to the early–middle Aptian long-term sea level high stand. The Tethyan late Aptian–middle Albian long-term (2nd order) sea level rise was masked by regional late Aptian–Albian uplift, which affected deposition of the later regressive sequence. The Cenomanian shows a change in depositional setting from a proximal inner shelf (lower Cenomanian) to a middle shelf setting (middle–upper Cenomanian), corresponding to the Tethyan long-term latest early–late Cenomanian sea level rise.

We demonstrate that northeastern Gondwana (Egypt) experienced different climatic conditions from other parts of the Northern Gondwana Phytogeographic Province. The climate in Egypt shifted from less warm and more humid conditions of the Hauterivian–early Barremian to a warmer and drier climate during the late Barremian–middle Aptian, although never becoming as dry as western Northern Gondwana. Warmer and more humid conditions were reestablished during the late Aptian and became even more accentuated during the Albian–Cenomanian, in contrast to the warm and much drier climate of Northern Gondwana at that time. Turonian climatic conditions may have been less humid as a result of the breakup of the Western Gondwanan supercontinent and the northeasterly drift of the African continent. The climatic conditions experienced in northeastern Gondwana developed through the early-mid Cretaceous as a result of changes in palaeolatitudinal position, variations in sea level, and shifts in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which drove fluctuations between periods of warm humid and warm dry conditions.

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 August 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 September 2019
Published date: February 2020
Keywords: Quantitative Palynofacies Palaeoenvironment Palaeoclimate Intertropical Convergence Zone Cretaceous Tethys Northern Gondwana Egypt

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 434798
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/434798
ISSN: 0195-6671
PURE UUID: 20e7b6e2-5777-4174-be05-4e5898836a7d
ORCID for Ian Harding: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4281-0581
ORCID for John Marshall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9242-3646

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Date deposited: 09 Oct 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:24

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