Permo-Carboniferous plant-remains in Northeast Africa
(A tabular summary with images)

Norbert Brügge, Germany
Dipl.-Geol.
 

In NE-Africa up to now from three regions are known fossil plants of Permo-Carboniferous age.
Past year Geologists from the University Dongola have found some new fossil plants in the Wadi Halfa.
Recently tourists have found further interesting plant fossils in the Gilf Kebir region (SW-Egypt).


1. ) Gilf Kebir- Uweinat Region (Egypt/Libya)


2. ) Suez-Sinai region (Egypt)
The Permo-Carboniferous succession in the Gulf of Suez region is subdivided into: the Abu Thora Fm. (Late Visean-Early Westphalian), the Abu Durba Fm. (Middle Westphalian), and the Aheimer Fm. (Late Westphalian/Stephanian-Early Permian). The Abu Thora and Abu Durba formations of Sinai are coeval with the Abu Darag Fm. in the Northern Galala. The Aheimer Fm. corresponds to the Ataqa Fm. in the subsurface of the Gulf of Suez. These clastic-dominated deposits reflect shallow subtidal, prograding shoreline and fluviatile conditions. They overlie conformably open marine Early Carboniferous carbonates of the Um Bogma Fm. and are overlain unconformably by continental red bed succession of Late Permian-Triassic age known as the Qiseib Fm.. Stratigraphic correlations with equivalent units recorded from the southern Tethyan basins indicate that great areas of North Africa and the Near East were situated near the southern margin of the Tethyan sea during most of the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian time.

3. ) Wadi Halfa area (Sudan)
Most of northern Sudan was part of a regional high. Fluvio-continental and nearshore facies were deposited only in northwestern and northeastern part of the Sudan. Recent work in the northern Sudan, such as Wadi Halfa area, indicated the presence of deposits ranging in age from Carboniferous to Permotriassic. The evidence of continental sediments is based on the presence of Pecopteris aff. permica, Cyclostigma, Calamites, Sigillaria aff. boblayi. Nearshore sediments at the base of section are indicated by the presence of trace fossils (e.g. Arthrophycus).
The recently find of Rhodea sp. in the western direction of Wadi Halfa (Argein area) is a proof for Upper Carboniferous in the region.
South of Wadi Halfa are outcrops the Permo-Triassic Lakia Formation in the Jebel Toshka. On top of the section is found Pterophyllum nubiense L.-NICOL. Very rich is Pterophyllum in the top layers of Lakia Fm. south of Selima.


Permo-Carboniferous paleogeographic situation

 

Age Libya Gilf Kebir region (Egypt/Sudan) NW-Sudan North-Sudan Suez region Sinai
Jabal Asba
Jabal Dalma
Clayton Craters Gilf Kebir Djebel Uweinat Selima
Karb elToum
Wadi  Halfa/Argein
Jebel Toshka
Wadi Araba
Wadi Dakhel
Um Bogma
Wadi Mukattab
Abu-Thora

Lycophyta

 

cf. Amadokia boureaui

Tournaisian - Visean              

Archaeosigillaria minuta

Tournaisian              

Archaeosigillaria vanuxemi

Tournaisian                

Archaeosigillaria sp.

Tournaisian                

cf. Bothrodendron depereti

Visean - Namurian                

Coenodendron primaevum

U. Tournaisian - Visean              

Precyclostigma blakaense

U. Tournaisian - Visean                

Precyclostigma tadrartense

Tournaisian                

Precyclostigma sp.

Tournaisian - L. Namurian                

Cyclostigma aff. ungeri

Namurian - Visean              

cf. Cyclostigma sp.

Namurian - Visean                

Heleniella costulata

Tournaisian - L. Visean            

Eskdalia africana

Tournaisian - Visean              

Eskdalia malikense

Visean            

Eskdalia minuta

Tounaisian - Visean                

Eskdalia ovale

U. Visean - L. Namurian                

Lepidophloios laricinum

Namurian - L. Permian              

Lepidophloios sp.

Namurian - L. Permian                

Protosalanus sp.

                 

Protasalanus elongatus

Visean                

cf. Tomiodendron ostrogianum

U. Visean - L. Namurian                

Ursodendron aegyptiacum

U. Tournaisian - L. Namurian              

Pinakodendron sp.

Namurian- Westphalien                

Lepidodendropsis africanum

Tournaisian - Namurian                

Lepidodendropsis fenestrata

Visean                

Lepidodendropsis devoogdi

                 

Lepidodendropsis hirmeri

Tournaisian - Visean            

Lepidodendrosis lissoni

U. Tournaisian - Visean              

Lepidodendropsis (aff.) rhombiformis

Visean - L. Namurian                

Lepidodendropsis schuermanni

U. Tournaisian - Visean              

Lepidodendropsis sinaica

Tournaisian - Visean              

Lepidodendropsis (aff.) vandergrachti

Visean - L. Namurian              

Lepidodendropsis sp.

Tournaisian - L. Namurian                

Preudolepidodendropsis klitzschii

Upper Visean                

Pseudolepidodendropsis scobiniformis

U. Tournaisian - Visean                

Sublepidodendropsis arthrophytoides

Visean                

Sublepidodendropsis fasciatum

U. Tournaisian - Visean                

Sublepidodendropsis striatus

Visean                

Prelepidodendron (aff.) lepidodendroides

Visean              

Prelepidodendron  rhomboidale

Visean              

Prelepidodendron sp.

Visean                

Lepidodendron maktabense

U. Visean - L. Namurian                

Lepidodendron mosaicum

Visean - L. Namurian              

Lepidodendron (aff.) quadrangulare

Lower Namurian                

Lepidodendron (aff.) rhodeanum

Visean - L. Namurian                

cf. Lepidodendron spetzbergense

U. Tournaisian - Visean                

Lepidodendron  veltheimi

Visean - L. Namurian            

Lepidodendron aff. volkmannianum

U. Tournaisian - Namurian            

Lepidodendron posthumi

Stephanian                

Lepidosigillaria intermedia

Visean              

Lepidosigillaria aff. whitei

Tournaisian - Visean                

Lepidosigillaria sp.

Tournaisian - Visean                

Sigillaria aff. boblayi

Westphalian              

Sigillaria ichthyolepis

Stephanian                

Sigillaria aff. cancriformis

Westphalian              

Stigmaria sp.

             

Pteridophyta

 

Eremopteris (aff.) elegans

Visean              

Eremopteris whitei

Visean - L. Namurian              

Eremopteris sp.

 Visean              

Rhacopteris ovata

L. Visean - L. Namurian                

Rhacopteris semicircularis

L. Visean - L. Namurian                

Nothorhacopteris argentinica

 U. Visean - L. Namurian                

Nothorhacopteris crenulata

 L. Visean - Namurian                

Nothorhacopteris sp.

U. Tournaisian - Namurian                

Triphyllopteris gothani

 Visean              

Triphyllopteris aff. rhombifolia

L. Tournaisian - Visean                

Triphyllopteris sp.

L. Tournaisian - Visean              

Rhodea aff. lotzenensis

L.Namurian - Westphalian            

cf. Anisopteris sp.

Tournaisian - Visean                

Sphenopteris aff. souichii

Stephanian                

Astherotheca aff. leeukuilensis

Permian              

aff. Paleoweichselia

Visean ?

             

Paleoweichselia halfa n.sp.

Visean ?            

Paleoweichselia halfa n.sp.

Visean ?            

Sphenophyta

 

Sphenophyllum thonii

Stephanian - Permian                

Sphenophyllum sp.

Permian                

Archaeocalamites sp.

Tournaisian - Visean              

cf.. Asterocalamites sp.

Visean              

Calamites sp.

Visean            

Equisetites sp.

Permian                

Lobatannularia (aff.) lingulata

Stephanian - Permian                

Lobatannularia sp.

Permian                

Pteridospermatophyta

 

Callipteris conferta

Permian              

cf. Gangamopteris sp.

Permian                

Thinnfeldia aff. decurrens

Permian              
 Thinnfeldia sp. Permian                

Cordaitophyta

 

Cordaites aff. angulostriatus

Stephanian                

Cordaites aff. regularis

Stephanian              

cf. Cordaites sp.

Visean            

Cordaitanthus aff. duquesnensis

Permian                

Dorycordaites sp.

Permian                

Coniferophyta

 
 cf. Walchia sp. (2) Permian              
 Lebachia aff. hypnoides Permian                
Cycadophyta  
 Pterophyllum nubiense Permian ( -L. Jurassic)            
  Age

Libya

 Gilf Kebir region (Egypt)

NW-Sudan North-Sudan Suez region Sinai
Jabal Asba
Jabal Dalma
Clayton Craters Gilf Kebir Djebel Uweinat Selima
Karb elToum
Wadi Halfa/Argein
Jebel Toshka
Wadi Araba
Wadi Dakhel
Um Bogma
Wadi Mukattab
Abu-Thora

 

Sources:

KLITZSCH, E. & LEJAL-NICOL, A. (1984) : Flora and fauna from strata in southern Egypt and northern Sudan (Nubia and surrounding areas).
Berliner geowiss. Abh., (A) 50, p. 47-79.

LEJAL-NICOL, A. (1987) : Flores nouvelles du Paleozoique et du Mesozoique D’Egypte et du Soudan septentrional.
Berliner geowiss. Abh., (A) 75.1, p. 151-248.

Nafi, M., El Amein A., Salih, K. & Brügge, N. -- Significance of newly discovered late Carboniferous and Permo-Triassic strata, North and Northwestern Sudan
Wiss. Mitt. Inst. Geol., TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany), Heft 45 (2014)

Darwish, M. H. & El-Kelani, A. (2001):
Lower Carboniferous plants from Abu-Thora Form. in SW-Sinai
ResearchGate, Pub. 305984562 (Aug. 2016)

U. Steiner & H. Hartmann, Switzerland

A. Zboray & G. Merkl, Hungary