Oligocene larger foraminifera from United Arab Emirates, Oman and Western Desert of Egypt

Mohamed Boukhary, Osman Abdelghany, Yasmine Hussein-Kamel, Salah Bahr, Abdul Razak Alsayigh, Mousheera Abdelraouf

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17 Citations (Scopus)


An early Oligocene (Rupelian) diagnostic larger foraminiferal assemblage is described and illustrated from marls and limestones of the Asmari Formation, at Jabals Hafit and Malaqet in the UAE. An equivalent assemblage is identified in the mudstones of the Tahwah Formation, Wadi Suq, Oman. Although Nummulites intermedius (D'Archiac 1846) and N. fichteli are fully synonymous (e.g. Roveda 1970; Schaub 1981; Sirel 2003), in this study both species are biometrically differentiated, distinct and both names are valid. N. fichteli Michelotti 1841, N. intermedius (D'Archiac 1846) and N. emiratus n. sp., which are index for the early Oligocene (Rupelian), and they are replacing each others competitively and environmentally. The presence of Blondeauina bouillei n.gen., N. emiratus n.sp., N. intermedius, N. fichteli, Planoperculina complanata (Defrance 1822) and Austrotrillina asmariensis Adams 1968 ascribed the section of the Asmari Formation to the early Oligocene (Rupelian). The studied marls and limestones were deposited in outer and inner shelf environments, respectively. The Asmari Formation in the area studied consists mainly of marl in its lower portion and reefal limestone in its upper part, indicating a major marine regression. The Tahwah Formation in Oman is composed of bioturbated silty and muddy marls and is a facies equivalent to the Asmari Formation marls. The Asmari Formation facies change probably relates to a mid-Oligocene fall in global sea level. In this study, the Dabaa Formation, a subsurface unit of late Eocene-Oligocene marine shales in the north Western Desert of Egypt, was chosen to correlate with the Oligocene of Emirates and Oman. The Dabaa Formation comprises Spiroclypeus ornatus (Henson 1937) and Eulepidina dilatata (Michelotti 1861). The environment of deposition was inner shelf to littoral, which become estuarine towards the top in many areas. This Oligocene Dabaa sequence is correlatable with Wadi El Arish sequence recently discovered by Kuss and Boukhary (2008) from Risan Aneiza, Northern Sinai, Egypt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-366
Number of pages19
JournalHistorical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • (Egypt)
  • Asmari Formation (UAE)
  • Dabaa Formation
  • Larger foraminifera
  • Oligocene
  • Tahwah Formation (Oman)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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