Maastrichtian Anoxia and Its Influence on Organic Matter and Trace Metal Patterns in the Southern Tethys Realm of Egypt during Greenhouse Variability

Douaa Fathy, Michael Wagreich, Esraa Fathi, Mohamed S. Ahmed, Mahmoud Leila, Mabrouk Sami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Maastrichtian organic-rich sediments of Egypt were deposited under a warm greenhouse climate along the stable African shelf. This study presents an integrated analysis of the geochemical, mineralogical, and palynological data from Maastrichtian organic-rich sediments in the northwest Red Sea region of Egypt. The aim of the study is to assess the impact of anoxia on the enrichment of organic matter and trace metals and to reconstruct a model for the formation of these sediments. The sediments are hosted within the Duwi and Dakhla formations, covering an interval of ∼1.14-2.39 million years. Our data indicate variable bottom-water oxygen-level conditions for early and late Maastrichtian sediments. The C-S-Fe systematics and redox geochemical proxies (e.g., V/(V + Ni), Ni/Co, and Uauthigenic) suggest dysoxic to anoxic depositional conditions for the late and early Maastrichtian organic-rich sediments, respectively. The early Maastrichtian sediments contain abundant small-sized framboids (average = 4.2-5.5 μm), suggesting anoxic conditions, while the late Maastrichtian sediments have larger framboids (average = 4-7.1 μm), indicating dysoxic conditions. The palynofacies analyses reveal the high abundance of amorphous organic matter and confirm the predominance of anoxic conditions during deposition of these organic-rich sediments. The early Maastrichtian organic-rich sediments have a significant Climate concentration of Mo, V, and U, indicating high biogenic production rates and distinct preservation conditions. Additionally, the data imply that oxygen deficiency conditions and low sedimentation rates were the main factors controlling the preservation of organic matter in the studied sediments. Overall, our study provides insights into the environmental conditions and processes that led to the formation of the Maastrichtian organic-rich sediments in Egypt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19603-19612
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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