Late Miocene karst system at Sheikh Abdallah, between Bahariya and Farafra, Western Desert, Egypt: Implications for palaeoclimate and geomorphology

H.A. WANAS, M. PICKFORD, P. MEIN, H. SOLIMAN, L. SEGALEN

Abstract


The extensive spelean deposits in the Western Desert of Egypt at Crystal Mountain (Gebel Bellorat) are considered to be 11-10 Ma, confirming the ‘Vallesian’ estimate made by Heissig (1982). Several new faunal elements have been discovered including anurans, snakes, soricids, bats, galagids, hystricids and glirids. This fauna indicates that the region was appreciably more humid 11-10 Ma than it is today, with at least 750 mm and possibly as much as 1,200 mm mean annual rainfall. The role of karst processes in the development of the oases of the Western Desert that may have been underestimated by previous researchers is emphasized.

Keywords


Late Miocene; Egypt; Karst; Palaeontology; Palaeoclimatology; Geomorphology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/105.000001450

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Geologica Acta (ISSN-1695-6133)
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