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Cenomanian biostratigraphy and


sequence stratigraphy of southern
Galala Plateau, North Eastern Desert,
Egypt

Article · January 2012

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Egypt. Jour. Paleontol., Vol. 12, 2012, p. 143-172 ISSN 1687 - 4986

CENOMANIAN BIOSTRATIGRAPHY AND SEQUENCE


STRATIGRAPHY OF SOUTHERN GALALA PLATEAU,
NORTH EASTERN DESERT, EGYPT
Abdel Galil HEWAIDY(1), M. H. AWAD(1), Sherif FAROUK(2)
and Arafa EL-BALKEIMY(1)
1) Geology Department, Al Azhar University, B.O.Box:11884.
2) Exploration Department, Petroleum Researches Institute, Egypt.

ABSTRACT
The Cenomanian Galala Formation is well exposed in the slopes of the Southern
Galala Plateau. Two sections were measured in Wadi El-Dakhla and East Saint Anthony
areas in the Southern Galala Plateau. These sections are found rich in well preserved and
diversified macrofaunal contents. These macrofaunal assemblages include 8 ammonite
species, 11 bivalves, 4 gastropods and 5 echinoids. The ammonite and bivalve species are
systematically discussed breifly, while the gastropods and echinoids are listed according to
their systematic position. Rare planktonic foraminiferal species of the upper Cenomanian
are recorded in some levels of the studied sections. All the macrofossil species are
photographed and shown. The vertical stratigraphic distribution of the identified macrofossil
species enabled the recognition of two late Cenomanian zones in the upper part of the
Galala Formation. These are Neolobites vibrayeanus Zone at base and Vascoceras cauvini
Zone at top. Based on bivalves, the Cenomanian Galala Formation in the studied sections
is subdivided into four zones; Ceratostreon flabellatum, Ilymatogyra africana, Exogyra
(Costagyra) olisiponensis and Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis vesiculosa in an
ascending order. The Cenomanian succession is subdivided based on its faunal and
lithologic characters into two third order depositional sequences bounded by three type 1
sequence boundaries represented by unconformity surfaces. The lower depositional
sequence is of middle Cenomanian age and was divided into transgressive and highstand
systems tracts, and the lower transgressive systems tract is subdivided into early
transgressive systems tract and an late transgressive systems tract. The upper
depositional sequence includes only transgressive systems tract.

Key words: Cenomanian, ammonites, bivalves, gastropods, echinoids,


biostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy.

INTRODUCTION
The Cenomanian transgression covered large provinces of north Egypt and
deposited thick marine sediments of different facies types with different rich and
diverse faunal assemblages. These faunal assemblages and their biostratigraphic
and paleoecologic applications were attempted by many authors started with the
early time of stratigraphic and paleontologic studies in Egypt. Among the most
significant recent publications are those of Luger and Gröschke, 1989; Kassab
1994 & 1996; Aly and Abdel Gawad, 2001; Kora et al., 2001; Kassab and
Obaidallah, 2001, El-Hedeny, 2002; Zakhera and Kassab, 2002; Hewaidy et al.,
2003; Khalil and Mashaly,2004; Abdel- Gawad et al., 2004; El Qot, 2006; Abdel-
Gawad et al., 2007; Khalil, 2007; El Qot, 2008; Nagm et al., 2010; El Qot and Afify,
2010, El-Sheikh et al., 2010 and Nagm and Wilmsen, 2012.
144 HEWAIDY, et al.,

The study area represents the northern part of the Southern Galala Plateau.
Two outcrops for the Cenomanian in the Southern Galala Plateau have been
measured, sampled and studied to throw some light on the systematic
paleontology and biostratigraphic zonation based on the identified macrofaunal
assemblage especially ammonites and bivalves. The paleoenvironmental
conditions of the studied succession was attempted and the sequence stratigraphic
classification was proposed. The first outcrop is located in the southern part of the
Southern Galala Plateau at 32o33' 56" E and 28o43" 56" N, and the other outcrop is
located in northern escarpment of Southern Galala Plateau at 32o25' 45" E and 28o
57' 53.5" N (Fig.1).
The Cenomanian sediments in the studied area are represented by the Galala
Formation (Awad and Abdallah 1966), which represents the first major marine
transgression during the Cretaceous time in the north Eastern Desert. The lower
part of the Galala Formation is composed of shales intercalated with sandy marl
and limestone yielding rich megafossils. This lower part may be equivalent to the
Abu Had Member of the Raha Formation in Sinai (Ghorab, 1961). The upper part
of the Galala Formation is marked by its carbonate content with ammonite fauna.
The Galala Formation unconformably overlies the fluviatile cross-bedded
sandstone of the Aptian-Albian Malha Formation. On the other hand, the Galala
Formation unconformably underlies the Abu Qada Formation. This contact is flat
and can be recognized by abrupt facies change with the occurrence of Vascoceras
proprium (Reyment) of early Turonian age at the base of the Abu Qada Formation.
The Galala Formation attains 60m thick at wadi El-Dakhl section, while it is 55 m
thick at East Saint Anthany section.

Fig.1: Location map of the study area.


Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 145

SYSTEMATIC PALEONTOLOGY
28 macrofossil species were identified from the Cenomanian Galala Formation
in the study area. These species include 8 ammonites, 4 gastropods, 11 bivalves
and 5 echinoids. The ammonite and bivalve species are treated systemically in
short and their strigraphic distribution is discussed, while the gastropods and
echinoids are listed according to their systematic position. All the identified fauna
are photographed and shown on 4 plates. The identified ammonites are arranged
systematically according to the scheme of Wright et al. (1996). The bivalves are
systematically arranged according to the classification scheme of McCormick and
Moore (1969) and Stenzel (1971) for oysters have been used.
Phylum: MOLLUSCA CUVIER, 1795
A. Class: Cephalopoda Cuvier, 1795
Order: Ammonoidea Zittel, 1884
Suborder: Ammontina Hyatt, 1889
Superfamily: Hoplitoidea Douvillé, 1890
Family: Engonoceratidae Hyatt, 1900
Genus: Neolobites Fischer, 1882
Neolobites vibrayeanus (d’Orbigny, 1841)
(Pl.1, Figs.1a&b)
1841 Ammonites vibrayeanus d’Orbigny, p. 322, pl. 96, figs. 1- 3.
1981 Neolobites vibrayeanus (d’Orbigny); Kennedy and Juignet, p. 23, figs. 3, 4,
6a; text-fig. 5.
Material: Two complete internal moulds.
Stratigraphic distribution: D, Orbigny (1841) recorded Neolobites vibrayeanus for
the first time from the Cenomanian of France. Kassab (1985) considered this
species as a zonal marker for the upper Cenomanian Neolobites – Ilymatogyra
Zone in Wadi Qena and Wadi Tarfa. Aly & Abdel Gawad (2001) recorded this
species from the Cenomanian beds of north and central Sinai. El Hedeny & Nafee
(2001) recorded this species in the lower–upper Cenomanian Galala Formation
from Bir Quiseib, Northern Galala, Eastern Desert. In the study area, Neolobites
vibrayeanus is recorded from the lower upper Cenomanian Neolobites vibrayeanus
Zone.
Superfamily: Acanthoceratoidea Grossouvre, 1894
Family: Acanthoceratidae Grossouvre, 1894
Subfamily: Acanthoceratinae Grossouvre, 1894
Genus: Thomelites Wright and Kennedy, 1973
Thomalites sornayi (Thomel, 1966)
(Pl.1, Fig.2)
1966 Jeanrogericeras sornayi Thomel- Thomel and Devilloutreys, p.431, pl .11,
figs.1-3.
1973 Thomalites sornayi (Thomel)– Juignet et al., p. 232, pl.2, fig.1a-c; pl.3, figs.
3a- c, 5a-b, 6a-c.
Material: One incomplete mould from Wadi El- Dakhl Section.
146 HEWAIDY, et al.,

Stratigraphic distribution: Thomelites sornayi has been recorded from the


Cenomanian Galala Formation at Galala plateaux, north Eastern Desert by El Qot
(2008). In the present study, this species is recorded from the Vascoceras cauvini
Zone, upper Cenomanian Galala Formation, Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Subfamily: Euomphaloceratinae Cooper, 1978
Genus: Euomphaloceras Spath, 1923
Euomphaloceras septemseriatum (Cragin, 1893)
(Pl.1, Fig.3)
1893 Scaphites septemseriatum Cragin, p. 240.
1981 Euomphaloceras septemseriatum (Cragin) – Wright and Kennedy, p. 55, pl.
12, figs. 1-8; pl. 13, figs. 1-6; pl. 14, figs. 5-9 .
Material: One poorly preserved incomplete mould from the Galala Formation in
Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Stratigraphic distribution: E. septemseriatum has been recorded from the upper
Cenomanian Galala Formation in west Wadi Araba by Nagm et al. (2009). In the
study area, E. septemseriatum is recorded from the upper Cenomanian
Vascoceras cauvini Zone in Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Genus: Pseudaspidoceras Hyatt, 1903
Pseudaspidoceras pseudonodosides (Choffat, 1899)
(Pl. 1, Figs. 4a-b)
1899 Acanthoceras (?) pseudonodosides Choffat, p.65, pl.16, figs.5-8; pl.22, figs.
32-33.
1969 Pseudaspidoceras cf. pseudonodosides (Choffat)- Freund and Raab, p. 14,
pl.1, figs.10-11; text-figs.4j-k.
Material: Five moderately preserved incomplete moulds from the Galala
Formation, Wadi El- Dakhl Section.
Stratigraphic distribution: Pseudaspidoceras pseudonodosides (Choffat) is
considered as an upper upper Cenomanian species, occurring in N. juddii Zone in
the standard ammonite zonation (Gradstein et al., 2004). El-Sheikh (2010)
recorded this species from the Cenomanian Galala Formation of Saint Paul
Explanation Plate 1
1- Neolobites vibrayeanus (d’Orbigny, 1841). 1a side 1b view of venter; upper
Cenomanian, Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
2- Thomalites sornayi (Thomel, 1966). view of venter ; upper Cenomanian; Galala
Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
3- Eumphaloceras septemseriatum (Cragin, 1893). Side view; upper Cenomanian; Galala
Formation; Wad El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
4- Pseudaspidoceras pseudonodosides (Choffat, 1899). 4a side view, 4b view of venter;
upper Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
5- Vascoceras cauvini (Chudeau, 1909). 5a side view, 5b view of venter; upper
Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 147
148 HEWAIDY, et al.,

section, Gulf of Suez area. In the study area, the present species is recorded from
the upper Cenomanian Galala Formation in association with Vascoceras cauvini
Zone and it extended to the lower Turonian Abu Qada Formation in association
with Vascoceras proprium Zone at Wadi El Dakhl section.
Family: Vascoceratidae Douvillé, 1912
Genus Vascoceras Choffat, 1898
Vascoceras cauvini Chudeau, 1909
(Pl. 1, Figs.5a-b)
1909 Vascoceras cauvini Chudeau, p. 67, pl. 1, figs. 1a, 2a; pl. 2,figs. 3, 5; pl. 3,
figs. 1b, 2b, 4.
Material: 14 moderately preserved incomplete internal mould from Galala
Formation at Wadi El-Dakhl and Saint Anthony sections.
Stratigraphic distribution: V. cauvini was recorded from upper Cenomanian
strata outside and inside Egypt. In the study area, it was recorded from latest
Cenomanian beds at Galala Formation.
Vascoceras proprium (Reyment, 1954)
(Pl.2, Fig.1a-c)
1954 Pachyvascoceras proprium Reyment, p. 258, pl. 5, fig. 1; text-fig. 3d.
1987 Vascoceras proprium (Reyment); Kennedy et al., p. 46, pl. 4, figs. 1-15,
18e19; pls. 5e6; text-figs. 8a-c, 9.
Material: Four internal moulds from the two studied sections.
Stratigraphic distribution: Vascoceras proprium has been recorded from the
lower Turonian outside and inside Egypt. In the studied area, Vascoceras proprium
Reyment was recorded from the lowermost Turonian Abu Qada Formation. It
marks the start of Turonian above the boundary between the Cenomanian and
Turonian.
Paravascoceras obessum (Taubenhaus)
(Pl.2, Fig.2a-c)
1920 Pseudotissotia segnis Solger var. obesa Taubenhaus, p.43, pl.7, fig.4.
1969 Paravascoceras obessum (Taubenhaus); Freund and Raab, p.19, pl. 2, fig.8
Material: One moderately preserved internal mould from Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Stratigraphic distribution: Paravascoceras obessum was recorded from upper
Cenomanian Vascoceras cauvini Zone at Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Genus: Rubroceras Cobban, Hook &Kennedy, 1989
Rubroceras alatum Cobban, Hook Kennedy, 1989
(Pl. 3, Figs.4)
1989 Rubroceras alatum Cobban, Hook and Kennedy, p.54, figs.56-57;901-L;94N-
P,T-Y.
Material: Four incomplete specimens collected from Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 149

1- Vascoceras proprium (REYMENT, 1954). 1a side view, 1b view of venter, 1c apertural view;
lower Turonian; Abu Qada Formation, Wadi –El-Dakhl section, X1.
2- Paravascoceras obessum (TAUBENHAUS); 2a side view, 2b view venter, 2c apertural
view; upper Cenomanian, Galala, Formation, Wadi El-Dakhl section, X0.5.
3,4- Rubroceras alatum (Cobban, Hook and Kennedy, 1989). 3a & 4a side view, 3b & 4b view
of venter; upper Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5
150 HEWAIDY, et al.,

Stratigraphic distribution: Rubroceras alatum was recorded from upper upper


Cenomanian outside and inside Egypt. Abdel-Gawad et al. (2004) recorded this
species from upper upper Cenomanian Raha Formation at Gebel Ekma, Sinai,
while it was recorded by El Qot (2008) from upper upper Cenomanian Galala
Formation of Galala plateaux, north Eastern Desert. In the studied area,
Rubroceras alatum is recorded from the upper Cenomanian Vascoceras cauvini
Zone at the Galala Formation in Wadi El-Dakhl section.
B. Class: BIVALVIA Linne, 1758 (Buonanni, 1681)
Order: PTERIOIDA Newell, 1965
Suborder: PTERIINA Newell, 1965
Superfamily: PECTINACEA Rafinesque, 1815
Family: PECTINIDAE Rafinesque, 1815
Genus: Neithea Drouet, 1825
Type species: Pecten aequicostatus Lamarck, 1819
Neithea dutrugei (Coquand, 1862)
(PI. 3, Fig. 1)
1862 Janira dutrugei Coquand, p.219, pl.13, figs.1-2.
1918 Pecten (Neithea) dutrugei (Coquand); Greco, p. 24, pl. 3, figs.7-8.
1992 Neithea dutrugei (Coquand); Abdel- Gawad and Zalat, pl.3, figs.7-9.
Material: One incomplete moderately preserved specimen.
Stratigraphic distribution: Coquand (1862) described this species from the
Cenomanian of Algeria. Abd elhamid and El Qot (2002) recorded it from the
Cenomanian in north and west central Sinai. Zakhera & Kassab (2002) recorded it
from the late Cenomanian of Wadi El-Siq, west central Sinai. Mekawy (2007)
recorded it from Galala plateau, north Eastern Desert. In the studied area, this
species is recorded in the Cenomanian Galala Formation in Wadi El-Dakhl section.
Family: Plicatulidae Waston, 1930
Genus: Plicatula Lamarck, 1801
Type species: Spondylus plicatus Linne, 1758
Plicatula reynesi Coquand, 1862
(PI. 3, Fig. 2)
1862 Plicatula reynesi Coquand, p. 222, pl. 17, figs. 1-2.
Materials: Five well preserved specimens.
Stratigraphic distribution: Plicatula reynesi Coquand was previously recorded
from the lower Turonian beds at the foot slopes of Gabal Thelmet, Southern Galala
by Abdallah and Adindani (1963). Awad and Abdallah (1966) and Abu Khadrah et
al. (1987) recorded this species from the Turonian of Southern Galala area.
Abbass (1962) recorded this species from the Cenomanian of Ain Areida, Northern
Galala area. Kassab and Ismail (1994) recorded Plicatula reynesi Coquand from
the late Cenomanian-Early Turonian of Abu Zenima area. Zakhera (2001) recorded
this species from the early Turonian beds of Gebel Musabaa Salama, Sinai.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 151

Plicatula reynesi Coquand is recorded from the upper Cenomanian, Galala


Formation in East Saint Anthony section.
Suborder: OSTREINA Ferussac, 1822
Superfamily: OSTREACEA Rafinesque, 1815
Family: GRYPHAEIDAE Vyalov, 1936
Subfamily: Pycnodonteinae Stenzel, 1959
Genus: Pycnodonte Fischer DE Waldheim, 1835
Subgenus: Phygraea Vyalov,1936
Type species: Pycnodonte vesicularis (Lamarck)
Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis (Lamarck, 1806) vesiculosa (Sowerby, 1813)
(PI. 3, Figs. 3a-b)
1813 Gryphaea vesiculosa Sowerby, p. 93, pl. 369.
1918 Pycnodonte vesicularis (Lamarck) var. vesiculosa (Sowerby); Greco, p. 13, pl.
2, figs. 12a-b.
Material: Three well preserved specimens..
Stratigraphic distribution: Pycnodonte vesiculosum (Sowerby) was recorded
from the Cenomanian of Wadi ArabGreco, 1918); from lower and upper
Cenomanian rocks of Gabal Shabrawit (Fawzi, 1963); from the upper Cenomanian
of Northern Galala Plateau (Kuss and Malchus 1989); from the Cenomanian of the
Themed area, Sinai (Ziko et al., 1993); from the late Cenomanian in northern part
of the Eastern Desert (Zakhera and Kassab, 2002). In the studied area, it is found
common in the upper Cenomanian, Galala Formation in East Saint Anthony
section.
Subfamily: Exogyrinae Vyalov, 1936
Genus: Exogyra Say, 1820
Subgenus: Costagyra Vialov, 1936
Type species: Exogyra olisiponensis Sharpe, 1850
Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis (Sharpe, 1850)
(PI. 3, Fig. 4a-b)
1850 Exogyra olisiponensis Sharpe, p. 185, figs. 1-2.
Material: Four complete moderately preserved specimens from the two studied
sections.
Stratigraphic distribution: Sharpe (1850) first recorded this species from the
upper Turonian beds of Portugal. It was recorded later from many localities around
the world as Choffat (1901-1902), Pervinquiere (1912) and Coquand, (1869). It is a
good marker for the upper Cenomanian in Egypt. In the studied area, this species
is found rare in the upper Cenomanian Galala Formation at both studied sections.
Genus: Ceratostreon Bayle, 1878
Type species: Exogyra spinosa Matheron, 1848
Ceratostreon flabellatum (Goldfuss, 1834)
(PI. 3, Fig. 5a-b)
1834 Exogyra flabellata Goldfuss, p. 38, pl. 87, fig. 6.
152 HEWAIDY, et al.,

2001 Ceratostreon flabellatum (Goldfuss); Zakhera, pl. 1, fig. 1-2


Material: Ten well to medium preserved specimens from the two studied sections.
Stratigraphic distribution: This species was recorded in the Cenomanian of
many countries outside and inside Egypt. Ceratostreon flabellatum (Goldfuss) was
found in the Cenomanian Galala Formation of the two studied sections.
Genus: Ilymatogyra Stenzel, 1971
Type species: Exogyra aritina Roemer, 1852
Ilymatogyra africana (Lamarck, 1801)
(PI. 3, Figs. 6a-b)
1801 Gryphaea africana Lamarck, p. 399, pi. 198, figs. 5-6.
1912 Exogyra africana (Lamarck; Pervinquière, p. 27.
1990 Ilymatogyra (Afrogyra) africana (Lamarck); Malchus, p. 26, pl. 8, figs. 1-4.
Material: Five well to moderately preserved specimens from the two studied
sections.
Stratigraphic distribution: The species is a good marker for the Cenomanian
outside and inside Egypt. It is a marker frequent species for the Cenomanian in the
Galala Formation in the two studied sections
Rhynchostreon Bayle, 1878
Type species: Rhynchostreon chaperi Bayle, 1878
Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum (Lamarck, 1801)
(PI. 3, Fig. 7a-b)

Explanation Plate 3
1- Neithea dutrugi (Coquand, 1862). External view of a left valve; Cenomanian, Galala
Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
2- Plicatula reynesi Coquand,1862. External view of a left valve; upper Cenomanian;
Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X0.5.
3- Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis (Lamarck, 1806) vesiculosa (Sowerby, 1823).
3a external view of a left valve, 3b internal view of a left valve; Cenomanian; Galala
Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X1.
4- Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis (Sharp, 1850). 4a external view of a left valve, 4b
internal view of a left valve; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X1.
5- Ceratostreon flabellatum (Goldfuss, 1833). 5a external view of a left valve, 5b
internal view of a left valve; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony
section; X1.
6- Ilymatogyra africana (Lamarck, 1801). 6a external view of a left valve, 6b internal
view of a left valve; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X1.
7- Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum (Lamarck, 1801). 7a external view of a left valve, 7b
internal view of a left valve; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony
section; X1.
8- Gyrostrea deletteri (Coquand). 8a external view of a left valve, 8b internal view of a
left valve; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X1.
9- Meretrix faba (Sowerby, 1827). Side view of internal mould; Cenomanian; Galala
Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X1.
10- Venericardita forgemoli (Coquand, 1862). 10a side view, 10b dorsal view of internal
mould; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X1.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 153
154 HEWAIDY, et al.,

1801 Gryphaea suborbiculata Lamarck, p.398, pl.23, figs.11-13.


1993 Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum (Lamarck); Kora et al.; pl.2, fig.2
Material: Ten well to moderately preserved specimens from the two studied
sections.
Stratigraphic distribution: This species was recorded in the Cenomanian of
many countries outside Egypt as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Arabia and Italy. It was
recorded from upper Cenomanian in Egypt by different authors such as Malchus
(1990), Kora et al. (1993, 2001), Abdel- Gawad and Gamiel (2002) and Mekawy
(2007). Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum is found rich in the upper Cenomanian
Galala Formation at the two studied sections.
Family: OSTREIDAE Rafinesque, 1815
Subfamily: OSTREINAE Rafinesque, 1815
Genus: Gyrostrea Mirkamalov, 1963
Type species: Exogyra turkestanensis Bobkova, 1949
Gyrostera delettrei (Coquand, 1862)
(Pl.3, Fig.8a-b)
1862 Ostrea delettrei Coquand; p.224, pl.18, figs.1-7.
2004 Gyrosterea delettrei (Coquand ); Abdel Gawad , p.325, pl.2, fig.3.
Material: One well preserved specimen was collected from the Galala Formation at
East Saint Anthony section.
Stratigraphic distribution: This species was recorded previously by many authors
from late Cenomanian in north Eastern Desert (El Qot, 2006 and Mekawy, 2007).
In the studied area, It was recorded from the Cenomanian Galala Formation at
East Saint Anthony section.
Order: VENEROIDA H. Adams and A. Adams, 1856
Superfamily: CARDITACEA Fleming, 1820
Family: CARDITIDAE Fleming, 1848
Genus: Venericardia Lamarck, 1801
Type species: Venericardita umbricata Lamarck, 1801; SD Schmidt, 1818
Venericardita forgemoli (Coquand, 1862)
(Pl. 3, Fig. 9a-b)
1862 Cardita forgemoli Coquand, p. 199, pl. 14, figs. 14-15.
Material: Three internal molds collected from the Galala Formation at East Saint
Anthony section.
Stratigraphic distribution: This species was recorded from the Cenomanian of
Tunisia by Pervinquiere, 1912. It was recorded from the Galala area (Greco, 1918)
and Sinai (Fawzi, 1963; Abbass, 1962). In the studied area, It is recorded from the
Cenomanian Galala Formation at East Saint Anthony section.
Superfamily: VENERACEA Rafinesque, 1815
Family: VENERIDAE Rafinesque, 1815
Genus: Meretrix Lamarck, 1799
Type species: Venus meretrix Linne
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 155

Meretrix faba (Sowerby, 1827)


(PI. 3, Fig. 10)
1827 Venus faba Sowerby, p. 129, pl. 567, fig. 3.
1962 Meretrix faba (Sowerby); Abbass, p. 146, pl. 22, fig. 21.
Material: Ten complete internal molds from the Galala Formation at East Saint
Anthony section
Stratigraphic distribution: This species was recorded by Abbass (1962) from the
Cenomanian beds of Wadi Hawashiya. It was also recorded by Hewaidy et al.
(1998) in the Cenomanian beds of Gabal Manzour. In the studied area, It is
recorded from the Cenomanian Galala Formation at East Saint Anthony section
C. List of gastropod species
The identified gastropod species are arranged according to the classification
scheme of Wenz (1940).
Class: GASTROPODA Cuvier, 1797
Order: MESOGASTROPODA Thiele, 1925
Superfamily: PANDORACEA Rafinesque, 1815
Family: CERITHIIDAE Boussac, 1907
Genus: Cerithium Bruguiere, 1789
Type species: Cerithium adansonii Bruguiere, 1789
Cerithium tenouklense (Coquand, 1862)
(Pl. 4, Figs. 1)
Superfamily: STROMBACEA
Family: COLUMBELLINIDAE d'Orbigny, 1841
Genus: Pterodonta d'Orbigny, 1842
Type species: P. inflata d'Orbigny, 1842
Pterodonta deffisi THOMAS&PERON, 1889
(Pl. 4, Figs. 2a-b)
Family: Strombidae Swanson, 1840
Genus: Strombus Linne, 1758
Type species: S. pugilis Linne
Pterocera incerta (d'Orbigny, 1842)
(Pl. 4, Figs. 3a-b)
Superfamily: NATICACEA Forbes, 1838
Family: NATICIDAE Forbes, 1838
Subfamily: GLOBULAIINAE
Genus: Tylostoma Sharpe, 1849
Type species: Tylostoma globusum Sharpe, 1849
Tylostoma pallaryi (Fourtau, 1904)
(PI. 4, Figs. 4a-b)
D. List of Echinoid species
The identified echinoid species are arranged systemically according to Smith and
Wright (1989, 1993, 1996, and 1999) and Smith et al. (1995).
Phylum: ECHlNODERMATA
156 HEWAIDY, et al.,

Infraclass: Acroechinoidea Smith, 1981


Class: ECHINOIDEA Leske, 1778
Order: Phymosomatoida Mortensen, 1904
Family: Diplopodiidae, Smith &Wright, 1993
Genus: Tetragramma Agassiz, 1840
Tetragramma variolare (Brongniart, 1822)
(Pl.4, Fig.5a-b)
Order: Holectypoida Duncan, 1889
Suborder: Holectypina Duncan, 1889
Family: Holectypidae Lambert, 1900
Subfamily: Ceonholectypinae Smith&Wright, 1999
Genus: Coenholectypus Pomel, 1883
Caenoholectypus subpentagonalis (BLANCKENHORN, 1925)
(Pl.4, Fig.6a-b)
Order: Spatangoida Claus, 1876
Family: Hemiasteridae Clark, 1917
Genus: Hemiaster Agassiz, in Agassiz &Desor, 1847
Subgenus: Hemiaster Agassiz, in Agassiz &Desor, 1847
Hemiaster cubicus DESOR, 1847
(Pl. 4, Figs.7a-b)
Hemiaster pseudofourneli PERON&GAUTHEIR
(Pl.4, Figs.8a-b)
Hemiaster hassani (FOURTAU)
(Pl.4, Fig.9a-b)

Explanation Plate-4
1- Cerithium tenouklense (Coquand, 1862). Dorsal view; Cenomanian; Galala Formation;
Wadi El-Dakhl section; X1.
2- Pterodonta deffisi Thomas and Peron, 1889. 2a dorsal view, 2b apertural view;
Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X1.
3- Pterocera incerta (d, Orbigny, 1842). 3a dorsal view, 3b apical view, 3c apertural view;
Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X0.5.
4- Tylostoma pallaryi (Fourtau, 1849). 4a dorsal view, 4b apertural view; Cenomanian;
Galala Formation; East Saint Anthony section; X1.
5- Tetragramma variolare (Brongniart, 1822). 5a adapical view, 5b side view;
Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi EL-Dakhl section; X1.
6- Caenoholectypus subpentagonalis (Blanckenhorn, 1925). 6a adapical view, 6b
adoral view, 6c side view; Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X2.
7- Hemiaster cubicus Desor, 1847. 7a adapical view, 7b adoral view; upper Cenomanian;
Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X1.
8- Hemiaster pseudofourneli Peron and Gautheir. 8a adapical view, 8b adoral view;
upper Cenomanian; Galala Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X1.
9- Hemiaster hassani (Fourtau). 9a adapical view, 9b adoral view; Cenomanian; Galala
Formation; Wadi El-Dakhl section; X1.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 157
158 HEWAIDY, et al.,

BIOSTRATIGRAPHY
The Cenomanian Galala Formation is classified into two ammonite and four
bivalve zones. The two zonal schemes included many barren intervals. The
following is a discussion for these zones. The distribution of all the identified
macrofossils is shown on Figs.2 and 3, while Fig. 4 is a correlation between the two
studied sections. Table 1 gives a summery for the previous studies on the
Cenomanian age in- and outside Egypt.
Biostratigraphic zonation based on ammonites
The Cenomanian Galala Formation is classified into two ammonite zones
intercalated with two barren intervals. The following is the description of the
established biozones arranged from the oldest to the youngest:
1. Barren interval A: The lower part of the Galala Formation in the two studied
sections is found barren of ammonites. This part attains about 37 m thick in
East Saint Anthony and unconformably overlies the Albian top Malha
Formation. In Wadi El-Dakhl section, it attains about 25 m thick and its base is
covered. This barren interval is assigned to the lower Cenomanian age
according to its stratigraphic position above the Malha and conformably below
the Neolobites vibrayeanus Zone.
2. Neolobites vibrayeanus Zone: This zone is defined by the total range of the
zonal species. It attains about 5 m thick at the Wadi El-Dakhl section and 3 m
thick at East Saint Anthony section the middle part of the Galala Formation.
The marker species is the only ammonite species recorded in this zone. The
associated fauna includes Ilymatogyra africana (Lamarck), Ceratostreon
flabellatum (Goldfuss), Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum (Lamarck), Plicatula
reynesi Coquand, Gyrostrea deletteri (Coquand), Tylostoma pallaryi (Fourtau),
Hemiaster pseudofourneli Peron and Gauthier and Hemiaster hassani
(Fourtau).
The Neolobites vibrayeanus is widely known from the lower upper Cenomanian
in Egypt, Jordan, Negev, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco (e.g., Awad and Issawi,
1975; Amard et al., 1981; Lewy et al., 1984; Charriere et al., 1998; Kora et al.,
2001; Kassab & Obaidalla; 2001; Aly and Abdel Gawad, 2001; Aly et al., 2008;
Hewaidy et al., 2003; and Nagm et al., 2010).
3. Barren interval (B): The Neolobites vibrayeanus Zone is conformably overlain
by a barren interval of ammonites in the two studied sections. This barren
interval attains about 8 m thick at Wadi El-Dakhl section and about 20 m thick
at East Saint Anthony section. The following macrofossil elements are
recorded in this interval: Ceratostreon flabellatum (Goldfuss), Rhynchostreon
suborbiculatum (Lamarck), Eoradiolites liratus (Conrad), Venericardita
forgemoli (Coquand), Ilymatogyra africana (Lamarck), Exogyra (Costagyra)
olisiponensis (Sharpe), Gyrostrea deletteri (Coquand), Meretrix faba
(Sowerby), Tylostoma pallaryi (Fourtau) and Hemiaster cubicus Desor).
According to this assemblage this barren interval is of middle to late
Cenomanian age.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 159
160 HEWAIDY, et al.,

4. Vascoceras cauvini Zone: This zone is defined by the total range of the
zonal species. It is represented by the topmost part of the Galala Formation in
the study area. It attains about 22 m thick at Wadi El-Dakhl section, while it
attains about 7 m thick at East Saint Anthony section. A rich ammonite
assemblage is recorded from this zone. This assemblage includes Thomalites
sornayi (Thomel), Vascoceras cauvini (Chudeau), Pseudospidoceras
pseudonodosides (Choffat), Rubroceras alatum (Cobban, Hook and Kennedy),
Eumphaloceras septemseriatum (Cragin) and Vascoceras obessum
(Taubenhaus). The most important associated macrofossil elements are
Costagyra) olisiponensis (Sharpe), Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis
vesiculosa (Sowerby). This zone is equivalent to the late Cenomanian
Vascoceras cauvini Zone of Kassab (1991) in North Eastern Desert. It is also
equivalent to the Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis Zone of Kora and
Hamama (1987) in south eastern Sinai.
Biostratigraphic Zonation based on bivalves:
The stratigraphic distribution of the studied bivalves resulted in recognition of
the following biozones:
1-Barren interval (1): The lower part (15 m thick.) of the Galala Formation at East
Saint Anthony section is found barren of any macrofossils. This part is not
exposed at the base of Wadi El-Dakhl section. This barren interval is attributed to
the early Cenomanian age based on its stratigraphic position, conformably below
Ceratostreon flabellatum Zone of middle to early late Cenomanian age.
2. Ceratostreon flabellatum Zone: This zone is defined as a partial range zone
and represented by the interval from first appearance of Ceratostreon
flabellatum (Goldfuss) to first appearance of Ilymatogyra (Afrogyra) africana
(Lamarck). It is represented by about 12 m thick at Wadi El-Dakhl section and
about 6 m thick at East Saint Anthony section in the middle part of the Galala
Formation. No ammonite species were recorded in this zone.
The most important elements in this zone are Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum
(Lamarck), Venericardita forgemoli (Coquand), Pterocera incerta d’Orbigny,
Cimolithium tenouklense (Coquand), Tylostoma pallaryi (Fourtau), Hemiaster
cubicus Desor and Caenoholectypus subpentagonalis (Blanckenhorn). This
zone is considered of middle to early late Cenomanian in Egypt and was
recorded by many authors such as Awad and Issawi (1975), Shahin (1988),
Malchus (1990) and Kora et al. (1993, 2001).
3. Ilymatogyra africana Zone: This zone is defined as a partial range zone and
represented by the interval from first appearance of Ilymatogyra (Afrogyra)
africana (Lamarck) to first appearance of Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis
(Sharpe). It is represented by about 13 m thick in Wadi El-Dakhl section and
about 16 m thick at East Saint Anthony section in the middle part of the Galala
Formation.
The most important elements in this zone are Neolobites vibrayeanus
(d’Orbigny), Ilymatogyra africana (Lamarck), Plicatula reynesi (Coquand),
Gyrostrea deletteri (Coquand), Tylostoma pallaryi (Fourtau) and Hemiaster
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 161

cubicus Desor. This zone is equivalent to Neolobites vibrayeanus Zone in the


study area and therefore it is considered to be of early late Cenomanian age.
4. Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis Zone: This Zone is defined by the total
range Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis (Sharpe). It is represented in the
upper part of the Galala Formation in the two studied sections and attains
about 8 m thick in Wadi El-Dakhl section and about 7 m thick at East Saint
Anthony section. This zone is equivalent to the lower part of Vascoceras
cauvini Zone in the study area and therefore it is considered to be of late
Cenomanian age.
The most important macrofossil elements recorded in this zone are Thomalites
sornayi (Thomel), Vascoceras cauvini (Chudeau), Neithea dutrugi (Coquand),
Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis (Sharpe), Rhynchostreon suborbiculatum
(Lamarck), Meretrix faba (Sowerby), Hemiaster cubicus Desor and Hemiaster
hassani (Fourtau). This zone was considered of late Cenomanian age and is
equivalent to the lower part of Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis Zone of Kora
et al. (2001) from Gulf of Suez region and of Khalil and Mashaly (2004) in
Gabal Musaba Salama area and Khalil (2007) from Wadi Watir in Sinai.
5. Barren interval (2): The Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis Zone is covered in
the two studied sections by a barren interval attains about 6 m thick at Wadi El-
Dakhl section and about 14 m thick at East Saint Anthony section. This interval
is found barren of any bivalves. It is considered of late Cenomanian age based
on the presence of the Vascoceras cauvini Zone.
6. Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis vesiculosa Zone: This zone is
defined as the total range of the zonal species. It is recorded in the upper
part of the Galala Formation with about 17 m thick at Wadi El-Dakhl
section and about 6 m thick at East Saint Anthony section.
The most important macrofossil elements are Vascoceras cauvini (Chudeau),
Pseudospidoceras pseudonodosides (Choffat), Eumphaloceras septemseriatum
(Cragin), Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis vesiculosa.
This zone is considered of late Cenomanian age and is equivalent to the upper
part of Vascoceras cauvini zone in the studied area.
The Pychnodonte (Phygraea) vesicularis vesiculosa Zone is unconformably
overlain by the lower Turonian Vascoceras proprium Zone.

SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY
The Cenomanian Galala Formation is studied from the sequence stratigraphy
point of view, based mainly on the analysis of the included fauna and the mail
lithologic characters. On these bases, the Cenomanian Galala Formation is
subdivided into two sequences bounded by three sequence boundaries and
divided into their systems tracts. The following is the description of the detected
sequences and their included systems tracts and bounding boundaries.
Sequence boundary 1 (SB1): The Cenomanian Galala Formation is
separated from the underlying Aptian-Albian Malha Formation by a major
unconformity surface represents the sequence boundary of the sequence 1
HEWAIDY, et al.,

Table 1: Correlation of Cenomanian zones established in the present study and those previously established in – and outside
Egypt.
162
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 163
164 HEWAIDY, et al.,

represented by the lower part of the overlying Cenomanian Galala Formation. This
boundary is easily recognized in the field and characterized by a sharp, irregular
and erosional surface with occurrence of paleo-soils, roots, wood trunks and rich
iron oxidation. It is a sharp lithologic boundary separates the continental
sandstones of the Malha Formation from the overlying siliciclastic/carbonate
deposits of the Galala Formation representing the beginning of the transgressive
phase of the Late Cretaceous. SB1 may correlate with the global sequence
boundary Ce4 of Hardenbol et al. 1998. It is also recorded in Jordan as CeJo3 by
Schulze et al., 2033, 2005 and Wendler et al., 2010.
Depositional Sequence 1: This sequence is represented by the lower part of
the Galala Formation and it is classified into a transgressive systems tract (TST1)
and a highstand systems tract (HST1), as the basal lowstand systems tracts is
missing due to high sea-level rise at the early sea level change during the cycle.
The transgressive systems tract (TST1) is classified into early transgressive
systems tract (ETST1) and late transgressive systems tract (LTST1).
ETST1: This interval attains about 8 m thick at the base of the Galala Formation at
East Saint Anthony section, Fig. 2. Lithologically, it is a sandy glauconitic
lime-mudstone, limestone and few sandstones. It is found barren of fossils.
The massive glauconitic muds and sandstones reflect deposition in a
restricted shallow lagoon environment, slightly reducing, quiet water near
the clastic source.
LTST: This interval is recorded in the two studied sections. It attains about 35 m
thick at Wadi El-Dakhl section and 30 m thick at East Saint Anthony
section. It is represented by limestones intercalated with shales yielding
high diverse megafossil assemblage including oysters, gastropods and
echinoids with very rare ammonites. The main elements are Ilymatogyra
africana, Exogyra (Costagyra) olisiponensis and Ceratostreon flabellatum
which are abundant and build shell banks and occur mostly in situ and well
preserved shells. It is equivalent to Abu Had Member in Sinai.
Microscopically, it is represented by molluscan floatstone to rudstone. The
rich occurrence of oysters in this interval reflects the clear nature of the
marine water. This interval includes some arenaceous benthic foraminifera
as Thomasinella aegyptia Omara, Thomasinella fragmentaria Omara,
Thomasinella punica Schlumberger, Ammobaculites texanus Cushman,
Ammobaculites rowi Banner and Haplophrogmoides eggeri Cushman. This
arenaceous assemblage denotes a tidal flat environment (Parker and
Athearn, 1959; Phleger, 1960; Bandy, 1963) with less saline environment,
which may be the near shore areas. The high density and diversity of the
fauna reflect a shallow open lagoon environment. This transgressive
systems tract 1 (TST1) is topped by a maximum flooding surface (MFS)
which is marked by the rare occurrence of planktonic foraminifera including
Hedbergella delrioensis and Helvetoglobotruncana praehelvetica and
topped in turn by a limited or absence of fauna marking the overlying
highstand systems tract.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 165
166 HEWAIDY, et al.,

HST1: The transgressive systems tract 1 is overlain by a highstand systems tract.


This highstand systems tract interval is composed of shale intercalated with
limestone ledge in the two studied sections, while in East Saint Anthony
section; sandstones are included in the lower part. This interval is nearly
barren of fauna. It is supposed to be deposited in near-shore environment of
high energy agitated conditions. It attains about 13 m thick at Wadi El-Dakhl
section, and 12m thick at East Saint Anthony section.
Sequence boundary (2) (SB2): This sequence boundary separates the
sequences 1 and 2 and is characterized by an abrupt facies change from the
shallower lagoonal facies below to the deep subtidal environment with low energy.
This sequence boundary may be correlated with the sequence boundary (Ce5) of
Hardenbol et al. 1998) and also recorded in Jordan as (CeJo4) by Schulze et al.,
2033, 2005 and Wendler et al., 2010.
Depositional Sequence 2: This depositional sequence is represented only by
transgressive systems tract (TST) as the sea level moved quickly during early and
late periods of the depositional cycle, thus, the lowstand and highstand systems
tracts are missing.
TST2: This interval is represented in the two studied sections. In East Saint
Anthony section, the sequence boundary (2) is directly overlain by shallow
marine friable sandstone with rare planktonic foraminifera of Heterohelix
intercalated with few thin glauconitic marl beds, representing deposition in a
shallower marine environment if compared with the overlying parts of this
depositional sequence. It attains about 4 m. thick. This interval may be
equivalent to the Mellaha Member in Sinai (e.g., El Sabbagh, 2008). This
sandstone unit in East Saint Anthony section and the sequence boundary (2)
in Wadi El-Dakhl section by the top part of the Galala Formation. It is
represented by fully marine of limestones with ammonites and rare
planktonic foraminifera of Hedbergella and Helvetoglobotruncana which is
recorded in the topmost part and denotes a maximum flooding surface (MFS)
at the top of this depositional sequence. The lithology and fauna of this
sequence indicate a deep subtidal environment with low energy, below storm
wave-base. It attains about 10 m thick at Wadi El-Dakhl section and about 5
m thick at East Saint Anthony section. The depositional sequence (2) is
separated from the overlying Turonian section by an unconformity surface
represents the sequence boundary (SQ3). The presence of an unconformity
between the Cenomanian and Turonian was previously observed by El
Sabbagh et al. (2011) in Wadi El-Dakhla section.

CONCLUSIONS
1. The middle-upper CenomanianGalala Formation was measured in East Saint
Antony (55 m thick) and Wadi El-Dakhl (60 m thick) sections.
2. 28 macrofossil species including 8 ammonites, 4 gastropods, 11 bivalves and 5
echinoids, in addition to some planktonic and benthonic foraminiferal species
are identified.
Cenomanian biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy at Southern Galala Plateau 167

3. The ammonites and bivalves are shortly systematically discussed, while the
gastropods and echinoids are systematically listed and all are photographed
and shown on 4 plates.
4. Neolobites vibrayeanus and Vascoceras cauvinizones are distinguished in the
upper Cenomanian part of the Galala Formation, while the middle Cenomanian
Galala Formation was found barren of ammonites.
5. Ceratostreon flabellatum, Ilymatogyra africana, Exogyra (Costagyra)
olisiponensis and Pynchnodonte (Phygraea) Vascoceras cauvinizones are
recorded in the Galala Formation from base to top.
6. Two third-order depositional sequences bounded by three unconformity
surfaces; one at the boundary with the Aptian-Albian Malha Formation, and the
second with the overlying Abu Qada Formation, while the third lies within the
Galala Formation. The lower depositional sequence is subdivided into a
transgressive systems tract and a highstand systems tract, while the second
depositional sequence includes only transgressive systems tract. The two
transgressive systems tracts are bounded at top by a maximum flooding surface
characterized by planktonic foraminiferal assemblages.

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