Source: Romano Serra
The Mystery of the Kimberlite Breccia on
the Zerzura Plateau
(northern of the Egyptian Gilf Kebir)
Norbert Brügge, Germany
Upload: May 2018
The little explored Zerzura (or Saad) plateau is located north of
the Gilf Kebir on the latitude to the Silica strewnfield in the Great
Sand Sea in the east. The plateau is divided into two halves by a
distinctive wadi. The plateau is to be formed according to the geological
map by sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous (Saad Form.). That is not
verifiable. It should be Devonian sandstones. After the loss of Ordovician-Silurian
strata (erosion), would follow the Archean Basement of the East Sahara
Ghost Craton. This scenario is likely because the Zerzura Plateau
is placed, like the Gilf Kebir, on the Uweinat-Howar Uplift. Mesozoic
layers are generally absent on the Uplift. Layers south of the Zerzura
Plateau are probably also not of Cretaceous. The stratification of
the sandstones (e.g. in the eastern exit of Wadi Qubba) are similar
the fluviatile Paleozoic sandstones in the Gilf Kebir.
Sandstone in the eastern exit of Wadi Qubba
nearby the Silica strewnfield
indicate also Carboniferous layers.
Also with regard
to the Gilf Kebir Plateau, the geological map is therefore mostly
wrong. The entire mapping is based on a misinterpretation
of a Carboniferous plant imprint (Paleoweichselia
halfa BRÜGGE,2017) from the Aqaba passage and which was erroneously
determined as the Mesozoic Weichselia reticulata
Zerzura plateau on air with detected craters Zerzura-1
Zerzura plateau on geological map (brown)
The Zerzura Plateau has become interesting
in recent time because we have to solve another of the many puzzles in
the Gilf Kebir region. Romano Serra and his companions in
2011 visited a extraordinary crater, with a peculiar breccia at its center.
The author found a photo of it at an Italian PP-presentation. Thankfully,
Romano Serra, University of Bologna, has now provided the
author with many further photos (below).
In this spectacular breccia from the crater-like structure (crater Zerzura-1)
we can see probably a swarm of micro-diamonds.
Unfortunately, apart from the identified location of the find (25°16'46
"/ 25°10'05") there are no further comments or publications.
The visited crater Zerzura-1
is nearly round and in no case a depression caused by water erosion. There
are only two narrow cuts in the wall. The walls of Zerzura-1 crater are
flat as after an explosion. In the crater itself is a hole with a plug
of breccias therein. On the lower wall of the crater bright layers can
be seen, which could be belong to a tuff ring, typical for kimberlite
The author believes that the breccia in the crater may be a
Diamonds (white "sugar") are difficult to recognize in the photos.
It can also be pure
Now, the author found many further such characteristic craters in the
satellite overview. Twelve of them (Zerzura-2 to Zerzura 13) are here
In addition of this, there are some pictures from
a trekking tour from the year 2003 available, which has thankfully made
available to me by Andras Zboray (fjexpeditions.com). In the southern
part of the plateau, in a hole in the sandstone, strange hollow
cracks can be seen on the wall, on which light mineral deposits stick
on the inside. Remarkable are also the round small openings in the floor
and in the walls of the hole through which obviously iron-rich solutions
have flowed. There is no doubt that hydrovolcanic solutions have ascended
here under high pressure and have left their signature.
Location of the hole: 25°07'28"N / 25°19'43"E