Geology of the Abu Dhabi 1:100 000 map sheet, 100-16, United Arab Emirates

Farrant, A.R.; Ellison, R.A.; Merritt, J.W.; Merritt, J.E.; Newell, A.J.; Lee, J.R.; Price, S.J.; Thomas, R.J.; Leslie, A.. 2012 Geology of the Abu Dhabi 1:100 000 map sheet, 100-16, United Arab Emirates. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 69pp.

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This Sheet Description describes the Quaternary and solid geology of the Abu Dhabi 1:100 000 scale geological map. The Abu Dhabi district covers 3620 km2 along the Arabian Gulf coast including the northern part of Saadiyat island, Abu Dhabi, part of the Mussafah district and many of the islands to the west. These include Futaisi, Bu Kesheishah, Halat al Bharaini, Al Dabiya, Bu Qumah, Bu Shara, Al Qanatir and Al Rafiq. The sheet also includes a significant part of the coastal plain southwest of Abu Dhabi between Shunayyin in the east to Borquat al Rashid in the west, and south to Maharqah, across which the main E11 coastal highway runs. In the southeast of the district, an area of higher ground is formed of Miocene rocks draped by a variable sequence of cemented and unconsolidated dune sand. The region hosts several major oilfields including the Rumaitha, Shanayel, Al Dabb’iya, Umm al Dalkh, Al Mutarib and Umm al Lulu fields. The region is dominated by a series of offshore islands, part of a chain of barrier islands that extend from north of Abu Dhabi to Marawah Island, west of the present area. These islands, along with the sea-ward margin of the coastal plain are mostly comprised of a thin sequence of intensively studied Holocene marine carbonates termed the Abu Dhabi Formation. These sediments represent a transgressive-regressive sequence, and form the classic carbonate-evaporitic ‘sabkhas’ for which the region is justly famous. The Abu Dhabi Formation includes a range of marine and supratidal facies including coastal spits, bars and beach ridges, lagoonal muds, algal mats and ooidal tidal deltas deposited over the last 10 000 years. The southern limit of the Holocene transgression is marked by a beach ridge running parallel to the coast and clearly visible on satellite imagery. The barrier islands commonly have a core of well-cemented Pleistocene carbonate dune sand (Ghayathi Formation) around which the carbonate spits, bars and ridges of the Abu Dhabi Formation were accreted. The islands have been largely deflated down to the local water-table leading to the development of extensive sabkhas. Consequently, the islands are generally flat but punctuated by small Ghayathi Formation mesas and zeugen, forming mushroom-shaped outcrops rising up to 6 m above sea-level, locally capped with marine limestones of the Late Pleistocene Fuwayrit Formation. Offshore to the north of the island, below low water, is the Great Pearl Bank, an area of reefs and coralgal sands named after the former pearling industry in the region. South of the Holocene beach ridge, much of the onshore area is an extensive, very gently sloping coastal plain, dominated by a deflated planation surface developed on either unconsolidated quartzose aeolian sand or well cemented carbonate grainstones of the Ghayathi Formation. The deflation surface is commonly marked by secondary gypsum forming a sabkha. The Ghayathi Formation palaeodunes are locally well exposed, forming spectacular wind-sculpted mesas and zeugen both on the islands and within the lagoons, but also onshore draping the Miocene rocks in the southeast of the district.

Item Type: Publication - Book
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > BGS Corporate
ISBN: 9780852727256
Funders/Sponsors: Ministry of Energy United Arab Emirates
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item can be purchased from
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 01 Aug 2012 13:50 +0 (UTC)

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