Some images from Carboniferous layers in the Gilf Kebir (SW-Egypt)
 (Wadi Talh area and further localities)

Norbert Brügge, Germany
Dipl. - Geol.

Carboniferous Wadi Malik Formation
 in the Wadi Talh area
 Source: KLITZSCH & WYCISK, 1987

KLITZSCH: At the Wadi Abdel Malik respectively at the western part of the Abdel-Malik Plateau (Wadi Talh area), shallow marine sandstone, siltstone and shale prevail, containing - apart from plants - brachiopodes, lamellibranchiates and different ichnofossils. These strata reach more than 100 meters of thickness and they are called Wadi Malik Formation (KLITZSCH 1979). Here they are overlain by a tillite of up to several 10 meters in thickness. Southward in the southern parts of Wadi Abdel Malik, the stratigraphical position of the tillite is taken by crossbedded sandstone containing irregular large blocks. This sandstone seems to be of fluvial-glacial origin (??).

The sediments of the Wadi Malik Formation rests over an eroded base of the Ordovician to Devonian sandstones unconformably. They were deposited during a transgressive expansion of the Kufra basin in the Carboniferous age from the western direction.

A rich flora was discovered in the Wadi Abdel Malik type area, including: Archaeosigillaria minuta, Lepidodendropsis cf. sinaica, Lepidosigillaria intermedia, Prelepidodendron lepidodendroides, P. rhomboidale, Rhacopteris ovata, Triphyllopteris gothani. This flora proves a Tournaisian to Visean age.

At Wadi Abdel Malik, were found this flora several meters below intercalations containing remains of different brachiopods, for example Camerotoechia sp. as well as abundant marine ichnofossils (SEILACHER, 1983) including Asteriacites gugelhupf, Bifungites fezzanensis, Spirophyton sp., Cruziana sp. and many others.

The upper part of Carboniferous strata, which is mainly made up of diamictites (landslip area ?), occurs in three different facies, which interfinger and which all rest unconformably upon the Wadi Malik Formation. At central parts of Wadi Abdel Malik, the formation rests above an erosional contact on sandstone of Lower Carboniferous age.
The uppermost parts of the underlying strata contain plant remains like Triphyllopteris gothani.

The upper part of the formation, which is here approximately 50-55 m thick, is overlain by a thin conglomerate followed by sandstone, containing among others Cordaites angulostriatus, which, according to LEJAL-NICOL (1987) indicates Stephanian age. Moreover, the upper part of the northern Wadi Malik Formation - directly below the conglomerate - contains
Rhodea lontzenensis, which indicates Namurian age.

  Wadi Thal area

Striking horizons of red and white Carboniferous layers (secondarily changed by leachate)
In the white layer is washed out the iron oxide, and in the red layers underneath re-enriched

Plant rich layers on plateau top (+750 m SL)

On the way to the location with plants




 Author 2006: Wadi Thal area (24°10'N and 25° 13.5'E)

Location with red shales

Warve-type sediments


 Author 2006: Northern Wadi Abdel Malik (24°34.5'N and 25°09'E)

View to west

View to north

Coarse sandstone

Red shales on top

 U. Steiner 2012: North-eastern forland of Gilf Kebir

New finds of Lepidosigillaria imprints from the north-eastern Gilf Kebir in 2012. Ursula Steiner and participants giving first detailed information to the locality of Lepidosigillaria in the foreland of the north-eastern Gilf Kebir (Wadi Gongoi), near the Great Sand Sea. The appearance of the imprints indicates a fluvial-terrestrial facies.


Finds of Lepidosigillaria

 Eastern edge of  Gilf Kebir

Further evidence of Carboniferous strata is available from the Wadi Hamra region and in the foothills north of it.  U. Steiner (2012) photographed marine bioturbation and A. Barakat (1991) plant imprints.

Soft bright layer with Sigillaria plant imprints (24° 14.523 '/ 25° 27.014')

Locations of debris with bioturbation

 U. Steiner 2013/2014: Southern forland of Gilf Kebir

A surprising location for many questions .....

.... with finds of Calamites (ferruginous)


                       Stalks of Cordaites (Wadi Wassa)

cf. Paleoweichselia (Wadi Wassa)