Platform environments, microfacies and systems tracts of the upper Cenomanian - Lower Santonian of Sinai, Egypt

Jan Bauer, Jochen Kuss, Thomas Steuber

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47 Scopus citations


Factors controlling grain composition and depositional environments of upper Cenomanian - Santonian limestones of Sinai are discussed. The mainly shallow-water, inner-platform setting investigated is subdivided into five major facies belts, each represented by several microfacies types (MFTs). Their lateral distribution patterns and their composition underline a clear relation between depositional environment and platform position. The facies belts include sandstones and quartzose packstones of siliciclastic shorefaces, mudstones and bioclastic wackestones of restricted lagoons, shallow-subtidal packstones with diverse benthic foraminifera and calcareous algae, bioclastic and/ or oolitic grainstones of inner-platform shoals, and wackestones of deep open-marine environments. The microfacies distribution patterns of the Cenomanian - Santonian strata are evaluated with respect to local and regional large-scale environmental changes. While protected shallow-subtidal environments with only subordinate ooids and oncoids prevail during the late Cenomanian, high-energy oolithic shoals and carbonate sands occur locally during the middle and late Turonian. They were probably related to a change of the platform morphology and a reorganisation of the platform after a late Cenomanian drowning. In the Coniacian - Santonian, the lack of ooids, oncoids, and the decrease of calcareous algae versus an increase in siliciclastics indicate a shift to lower water temperature and to a more humid climate. Especially in the Turonian, the interplay between sea-level changes, accommodation, hydrodynamics, and siliciclastic input is reflected by lithofacies and biofacies interrelationships that are elaborated within individual systems tracts. In particular, increasing accomodation intensified circulation and wave-agitation and controlled the distribution of high-energy environments of the middle and upper Turonian transgressive systems tracts. During highstands protected innerplatform environments prevailed.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number47
StatePublished - 2002


  • Inner-carbonate platform
  • Microfacies analysis
  • Sinai (Egypt)
  • Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian


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