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Volume :4 Issue : 1 1977      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Quaternary sediments in Kuwait

Auther : FRANTIٹEK PỈCHA AND ABBAS A. M. SALEH

Department of Geology, University of Kuwait

 

ABSTRACT

 

The Quaternary sediments in Kuwait are attributed to various terrestrial, deltaic and littoral facies. The present paper is concerned with the fluviatile Dibdibba Formation and coastal oolitic sediments associated with sabkhas. The Pleistocene Dibdibba Formation consists of gravels and sands deposited in a braided channel environment. As indicated by field exploration and by the composition of heavy minerals and gravels, the extent of the Dibdibba Formation, contrary to some previous views, is probably limited to surface fluviatile deposits only. The underlying clays, sands and fine conglomerates apparently belong to an older sedimentary cycle of Tertiary age. The Pleistocene and Holocene oolitic sediments distributed along the coast of southern Kuwait belong to the carbonate province of the Arabian Gulf. They are underlain by Tertiary clays and sands and interfinger with sabkhas. On the basis of the primary composition and diagenetic alterations five lithostratigraphic units were distinguished within the oolitic complex: (1) Recent oolitic sands; Pleistocene: (2) ridges of younger oolitic limestones, (3) ridges of older oolitic limestones, (4) ridges of quartz-oolitic sandstones, (5) oolitic-quartzose sandstones. The oldest oolitic-quartzose sandstones represent a transgressive facies contemporaneous with the fluviatile Dibdibba gravels. Both these facies were probably formed during an early Pleistocene pluvial stage when a relatively wet climate allowed wadis to pour sheets of terrigenous material over the coastal plains of the Arabian Gulf. The three generations of subaerially cemented coastal ridgesdocument theeustatic fluctuationsof sea level. The ridges were probably formed during high stands of sea level. An attempt was made to determine the age of some of these sediments by the radiocarbon dating method, but unfortunately, because of subaerial alteration the analyses did not yield reliable results. The appearance of coastal ridges and increase in aridity led to the development of generations of sabkhas. The oldest ones are sandwiched between the oolitic-quartzose sandstones and chenier dunes of the older oolitic limestones; the younger sabkhas are sheltered by Recent dunes and spits. The complex of Quaternary sediments in southern Kuwait represents petroleum setting in which the organic richsource sediments of lagoons andsabkhas are closely associated with porous potential reservoir rocks of the oolitic barrier ridges. The post-Pliocene tectonic movements, which are evident from the morphology of the Present address: Geological Survey of Czechoslovakia, Malostranske 19, 11821 Prague 1, Czechoslova kia, coast, the courses of tidal channels and distribution of Pleistocene ridges, played an important role In physiographic and depositional development of the area including the accretion and preservation of oolitic sediments and sabkhas.

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