KEYNOTES

Track 1. Atmospheric Sciences, Meteorology, Climatology, Oceanography

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    Zhihua Zhang

    Chief Editor – Track 1
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Shandong University, Jinan, China

    Climate Networks

    The climate system is a complex, multidimensional multiscale nonlinear system in which different physical processes act on different temporal and spatial scales. The climate networks use the theory of known complex networks to analyze climate system and enable novel insights into trends, patterns and mechanisms of global climate change over a wide range of spatio-temporal scales. Any change in climate system can be detected easily by various network measures (e.g. degree distribution, diameter, clustering, cut sets). In this article, we will briefly review latest advances on climate networks.

Track 2. Biogeochemistry, Geobiology, Geoecology, Geoagronomy

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    David Barnes (canceled his participation)

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom

Track 3. Earthquake Seismology and Geodesy

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    Emile A. Okal

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

    Tsunami hazard along the Eastern African coast from mega-earthquake sources in the Indian Ocean

    The catastrophic 2004 Indonesian tsunami reached the shores of Eastern Africa, where it affected at least 12 countries and caused several hundred casualties, principally in Somalia. Significant variations in run-up were documented by various post-tsunami surveys (note that the latter remain incomplete, especially in Southern Tanzania and Mozambique). In a previous study, Okal et al. [2009] suggested that these variations could depend on the precise location of the tsunami sources, as a result of the combined effect of source directivity and refraction irregular bathymetry. In this context, we present the results of a significantly enhanced study, which considers a total of twelve potential sites of mega earthquakes, along both the Sunda Arc, and the Makran subduction zone. Numerical simulations are carried out at a total of 25 virtual gauges, spanning the East African coast from Socotra in the north to Port Elizabeth in the south, as well as adjoining islands (Madagascar, Comoros, Mascarenes). In particular, we identify locations where the 2004 tsunami (which to a large extent awakened the awareness of the continent to tsunami danger) may not have represented a worst case scenario.

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    Klaus-G. Hinzen

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    University of Cologne, Germany

    Advances in Archaeoseismology

    Our knowledge of pre-instrumental earthquakes is mainly based on historic reports and palaeoseismological evidence. Under favorable conditions, damage to archaeologically documented structures may quantify earthquake-related parameters, such as the type of ground motions that caused damage. The Mediterranean Region with a plethora of archaeological sites and one of the highest global seismicity rates is an ideal place for archaeoseismological research. In addition to basic questions, e.g. whether observed damage is of a co-seismic nature and bracketing ground motion levels, advanced surveying and modeling techniques can also provide additional insights. We show that models of precariously balanced archaeological structures provide natural limits to past ground motion levels and that structures built on active faults may give information on the slip velocity during earthquakes. Quantitative models also provide perspectives for discussions about historical building techniques, such as the existence of ancient earthquake-resistant construction. The results of such investigations can improve efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of a region and can be utilized to avoid future construction mistakes.

Track 4. Environmental Earth Sciences

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    Johan Etourneau

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    University of Bordeaux, France

    A brief overview of some molecular proxies commonly used to unravel part of the Earth’s climate history

    Molecular proxies, also named organic biomarkers, have increasingly been used over the last decades in both marine and continental environments to track past climate variability at several timescales. Marine and terrestrial living organisms synthetize organic compounds, in particular some lipids that are exported to lake and deep ocean sediments where they remain preserved for million years. Based on their distribution, abundances and isotopic signatures, they can reveal crucial information on changes in ocean and atmosphere temperatures, marine phytoplankton productivity, sea ice extent, type of vegetation or precipitations for instance. Here is presented a brief review of some marine and terrestrial organic proxies that have been commonly used to reconstruct past climate changes in both low, mid and high latitudes regions during different periods of time.

Track 5. Exploration & Theoretical Geophysics, Seismic & Well Logging Methods, Mathematical Geosciences

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    Narasimman Sundararajan

    Chief Editor – Track 5
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

    Geo-investigations on the Qarat Kibrit Salt Dome Faulting System South of Adam, Oman - In Search of anomalies favorable for Uranium and associated minerals

    Development of salt domes, often arising from depths of some 10 km or more, causes an intense faulting of the surrounding host rocks (salt tectonics). The fractured rocks then present ideal space for oil that can migrate and get trapped. If such moving of hydrocarbons pass uranium-carrying rock units (e.g., shales), uranium is collected and enriched by organic carbon compounds. Brines from the salt body are also ideal carriers for oxidized uranium species and will further dislocate uranium when in contact with uranium-enriched oils. Uranium then has the potential to mineralize in the vicinity of the dome (blue halite is evidence for radiation having affected salt deposits). Based on this, the Qarat Kibrit salt dome was investigated by very low frequency electromagnetic (VLF-EM) and magnetic surveys along five traverses approximately 250 m in length (10 m intervals) in order to identify subsurface fault systems. In-phase and quadrature components of the VLF-EM signal were recorded at two transmitter frequencies (24.0 kHz and 24.9 kHz) along with the total magnetic field.. The Karous-Hjelt current density pseudosection delineates the subsurface faults at depths between 10 and 40 m which is substantiated by the Hartley spectral depth from the total magnetic field. The stacked profiles of line joining the Fraser peaks have brought out two plausible trends/directions of faults. Further, the in-situ XRF measurements that were carried out in the field unable to establish any possible uranium enrichment within the salt-tectonic system and there seems to be no evidence for an enrichment of uranium.

Track 6. Geo-Informatics and Remote Sensing

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    Hesham M. El-Askary

    Associate Editor – Track 6
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations, Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University, USA

    Assessment of Vegetation Changes in Saudi Arabia Using Harmonic Analysis and ENSO Indices

    Arid environment with limited vegetation and scare water resources characterizes Saudi Arabia (SA). Therefore, changes and trends of vegetation conditions are very important especially since climate change may signify the impact on the living standards and food security in the coming years. In this research, we used the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) as an indicator of the drying trends over the SA region in the past 20 years. The soil moisture products, vegetation and precipitation-based products were assessed to monitor and predict the variability of vegetation distribution. Overall, the vegetation in SA has a declining trend in most of their habitats, with the exception of regions with cropland reclamation. Most of the wild sparse vegetation areas (such as grassland and shrubland) suffer decreasing trends in the southwestern mountains. It was found that soil moisture of different vegetation categories (forest, cropland, mosaic and sparse), react differently to the precipitation. Interestingly, a comparably positive relationship between the SA’s NDVI and Trans-Niño Index (TNI) is shown over the other El Niño indices, with increasing lag correlation from 0 to 11 months. This may indicate the teleconnection between El Niño events, eastern Pacific El Niño in particular, and vegetation richness in SA.

Track 7. Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology, Volcanology

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    Hasnaa Chennaoui Aoudjehane

    Associate Editor – Track 7
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco 

    Meteorites of Morocco: a model of science development in the Arab countries

    Meteorites are ultrabasic, basic or intermediate extraterrestrial rocks with some special features such as chondrules in most of them. They played a crucial role in the apparition of water and life on Earth as well as in the mass extinction of species. Meteorites are mostly collected in cold deserts such as Antarctica and hot ones such as Oman, Sahara and Chili. The Sahara, and especially the Moroccan one, provides a very important number of meteorites for researchers and collectors all over the world. Despite the richness of the Arab world on meteorites, there is a lack of interest in research on meteoritics and planetary science. This makes Arab countries waste an opportunity to produce science in a new and promising field of research as well as priceless geoheritage. In Morocco, since 2001, we started a strategy to develop and promote meteoritics and planetary science, based on three axes: research, education and communication. This strategy can be applied to other Arab countries. This will allow them to play a role on the international scientific scene.

Track 8. Geological Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering

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    Zeynal Abiddin Erguler

    Chief Editor – Track 8
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Dumlupinar University, Kutahya, Turkey

    Strength, Disintegration and Self-Sealing Characteristics of Mudrocks

    Mudrocks are the most sensitive sedimentary rock in terms of strength, deformation and slaking characteristics against changing in environmental and climatic conditions. Various worldwide recorded engineering problems (e.g. landslide, slope instability, embankment failures, open-pit and underground excavation problems and undercutting related rockfalls) generally have direct or indirect relationships with these rocks. Clay minerals that are extremely sensitive to water content change constitute the most dominant mineralogical composition of mudrocks. In addition to their problematic characteristics, mudrocks have definitely promising features for modern engineering projects. For nearly three decades, mudrocks (e.g., Opalinus Clay, Boom Clay etc.) have being investigated for safe storage of high-level radioactive waste by considering their low hydraulic conductivity and high swelling and self-sealing potential. Furthermore, the reduction of conventional fossil fuels and worldwide high energy demands have led scientists to do more investigation for achieving alternative energy sources from mudrocks. Considering low durability and strength dependent mudrocks based engineering problems and the importance of these rocks for extraction shale gas and storage nuclear waste, the failure, slaking and self-sealing behaviors of these clay-bearing rocks were comprehensively evaluated in this study.

Track 9. Geomorphology, Geography, Soil Science, Geoarchaeology, Glaciology

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    Attila Çiner

    Guest of Editorial Board 
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Editor-in-Chief of Mediterranean Geosciences Reviews
    Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

    Cosmogenic surface exposure dating applications from Turkey; moraines, alluvial fans, fluvial terraces, lava flows and incision rates

    We report our work carried out in Turkey, where various Quaternary surfaces and deposits were dated by using cosmogenic surface exposure method. Our most important applications are related to boulders collected from moraines, as they can be used to reconstruct glacier fluctuations and palaeoclimates. We have dated moraines in numerous mountains, mainly within the Taurus Mountain Range along the Mediterranean coastline, where the deposits were formed mostly during Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~20 ka), and to a lesser extentd during pre-LGM (~50 ka), Younger Dryas (~12 ka) and the Early Holocene (~10 ka). We also used this method to determine the timing of the abandonment/incision of alluvial fan lobes that were later cut and displaced by the left lateral strike-slip of the Ecemiş Fault. The timing of surface breaking and slip and extension rates were also calculated, permitting the evaluation of the role of these structures in terms of the regional tectonic framework. In an another study, abandonment ages of river terraces based on burial and isochron-burial dating with cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al yielded the long-term incision rate of the Kızılırmak River (51 m/Ma since 1.9 Ma) as a proxy for the rock uplift, and the long-term denudation rate of the Central Anatolia Plateau. Last but not least, by using cosmogenic nuclides, we were able to date basaltic lava flows (~5 to 10 ka), and also calculate erosion rates of peculiar landforms locally known as “fairy chimneys” in Cappadocia.

Track 10. Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Hydrochemistry

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    Broder J. Merkel (canceled his participation)

    Chief Editor – Track 10
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, Germany

Track 11. Marine Geosciences, Historical Geology, Paleoceanography, Paleoclimatology

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    Marina Rabineau

    Chief Editor – Track 11
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Université de Brest, France

    Multidisciplinary study of Marine archives: reconstruction of Sea-level, Sediment yields, Sediment sources, Paleoclimate, Paleoceanography and vertical movement on margins: examples from the Western Mediterranean Sea

    The numerous processes (superficial and deep) occurring on margins, their origins, consequences, interactions and quantifications are only very partially described and understood. The identification of the relative role of factors is sometimes completely contradictory between authors. Here, we show the results of a long-term multidecadal and multidisciplinary study (using geophysical, geological, stratigraphic, paleontological, geomorphologic, geochemical, microbiological and numerical models) in the Western Mediterranean Sea, that acts as a natural laboratory at many different scales. We show how sediments efficiently record at the same time: variations of glacio-eustatic sea-level changes, variations of sediments yield and sources, and also enable to quantify vertical movements and geodynamic worldwide events but also detailed regional mass transport, turbidites and contourites deposits. They are also an archive of paleoclimatic, palaeoceanographic and diagenetic processes.

Track 12. Numerical and Analytical Methods in Mining Sciences and Geomechanics

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    Murat Karakus (canceled his participation)

    Chief Editor – Track 12
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    University of Adelaide, Australia

Track 13. Petroleum and Energy Engineering, Petroleum Geochemistry

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    Santanu Banerjee

    Chief Editor – Track 13
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India

    The application of glauconite for high-resolution stratigraphic interpretations of Eocene succession

    This study explores the potential of glauconite for high-resolution for the interpretation of Eocene stratigraphic sequences for correlation of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The authigenic glauconite forms abundantly during the Eocene in shallow marine environments, and its presence indicate a low rate of sediment supply. The glauconite is characteristically associated with transgressive deposits, and its presence reflects marine flooding. The presence of glauconite marks the different orders of marine flooding surfaces in stratigraphic sequences because of the requirement of a low rate of sediment. The glauconitic intervals provide high-resolution sequence stratigraphic interpretations in Kutch, Cambay and Jaisalmer basins in onshore basins of western India and in subsurface Assam-Arakan basin in northeast India. Because of its highly radioactive nature, the glauconitic rock is useful for subsurface correlation using electrologs.

Track 14. Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Geochronology

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    Annette E. Götz

    Associate Editor - Track 14
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    School of Earth and Environmental Sciences,
    University of Portsmouth, UK

    Melting Gondwana: Palynological evidence of a prolonged Permian deglaciation

    The Late Palaeozoic Ice Age (LPIA) represents one of the most extreme climate transformations in Earth history, transitioning from icehouse to greenhouse conditions. However, the controversial discussion on the termination of glaciation demonstrates the need for a more robust stratigraphic control including climatic palynoevents calibrated by radiometric data. New palynological data from Karoo basins of southwestern Gondwana reveal thick lacustrine deposits of Artinskian age, documenting the final glacial retreat with melt waters supplying broad lowland sinks. The switch from cold to cool-temperate conditions is displayed in the pollen record with the first taeniate bisaccate elements occurring in the Artinskian, clearly marking a change in the upland flora. This prominent floral signature indicates that at least in the southwestern part of Gondwana glaciers still existed in the upland regions during the late Cisuralian. Palynological evidence of a prolonged glaciation also includes marine phytoplankton associations and their response on meltwater influx into marine basins during the late Cisuralian.

Track 15. Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geodynamics, Petroleum Geology

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    Sami Khomsi

    Guest Editor & Former Associate Editor
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    FST, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia
    King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

    The crustal configuration and deep structures related to the pre-salt oil/gas objectives of the Eastern Maghreb: Need for deep seismic imaging

    Since the last decade, the major tectonic evolutionary steps of the Eastern Maghreb structures were precisely constrained by shallow seismic sections (5 s TWT) interpretations and structural analyses. However their overall configurations at depth, and their deep structural configuration controlled by the underlying basement, remain poorly understood because only few wells yet penetrated deeper than the thick Triassic evaporites sequences in the Atlas and the foreland basins. Thus, this work will focus on the deep structures affecting the Pan-African basement in the Eastern Maghreb by means of wide regional cross-sections passing through key structures of the Eastern Maghreb. Our purpose is to stimulate exploration of deep hydrocarbon traps and stimulate the industry, universities and other public research companies to launch a major research program on the deep crustal configuration in the Eastern Maghreb for the unlocking of deep oil/gas plays.

NARG. Special Session on Petroleum Systems in North Africa by North Africa Research Group (NARG) of Manchester University

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    François Roure

    Scientific Committee Chair
    Chief Editor – Track 15
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    IFP – Energies Nouvelles, France

    Tectonic and geodynamic controls on petroleum systems in compressional basins

    Compressional systems still host huge amounts of hydrocarbon reserves, either in anticlinal and other structural traps in the foothills, or in stratigraphic and structural traps in the autochthonous foreland. Compressional basins are commonly considered as risky frontier areas for the exploration. Case studies in prolific HC provinces from the American Cordilleran basins, the Middle East and the Circum-Mediterranean Foreland Fold-and-Thrust Belts (FFTB) presented in this paper have elucidated the main tectonic and geodynamic controls exerted on their petroleum systems.
    Commonly, long range migration pathways between the foredeep and the forebulge account for huge but biodegraded hydrocarbon accumulations in the foreland, as in the Orinoco and Athabasca tar belts, whereas short range migration between underthrust synclines and adjacent anticlines still occur in recent tectonic wedges in Albania and the Carpathians.
    A good knowledge of the Wilson cycle, including the pre-orogenic rifting and passive margin stages, the collisional stage and subsequent post-orogenic collapse is a pre-requisite before addressing realistic thermal and petroleum modelling, due to the important temporal and lateral variations of their lithospheric thickness and basal heat flow during alternative extensional and compressional stages.

  • Giovanni Bertotti

    Giovanni Bertotti

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Geoscience & Engineering, Delft University
    of Technology, The Netherlands

    Vertical Movements and source-to-sink systems the rifted margin of NW Africa: surprises continue

    Up to a few years ago, rifted continental margins were considered as very well studied and understood. Extensive use of low-T geochronology tools has shown, however, that rifted margins experienced upward and downward vertical movements completely unpredicted by available models. New erosion-sedimentation systems developed as a response. The margin of NW Africa is no exception. Triassic to Jurassic exhumation occurred in the Anti-Atlas and Regibat domains of Morocco and Mauritania feeding large amounts of terrigenous sediments to the W and the E. In North Morocco, a stage of Triassic to Early Jurassic subsidence was followed by Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous exhumation associated with the delivery of terrigenous sediments in the offshore domain. Constraining tectono-sedimentary systems in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal is in full development and will bring fundamentally new insights in the evolution of NW Africa.

  • Dr. Jonathan Redfern

    Jonathan Redfern

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Chair of Petroleum Geoscience
    University of Manchester, UK

    Evolution of Upper Triassic Fluvial Systems across North West Africa; the interplay of local versus regional drainage systems

    The Middle to Upper Triassic “TAG-I” sandstones were deposited in a series of intra and peri-cratonic basins that developed after the Hercynian orogeny on the Saharan Platform margin. They form a broad facies belt of continental clastics that extend from Morocco to Egypt. Recent wells drilled in Eastern Morocco have proven economic gas flow-rates from Late Triassic continental sandstones; sourced from Palaeozoic shales and trapped with post Hercynian rift structures. The play bears many similarities to the prolific TAG-I play in the Berkine Basin and offers potential for extension of this petroleum system farther west into Morocco. Reservoir quality and thickness is a key uncertainty and better understanding of the depositional systems and provenance is critical to reducing uncertainty and predicting where the sandstones offer viable exploration target.

IGCP-659 ANNUAL MEETING



Keynote

  • Dr. Emile A. Okal

    Emile A. Okal

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

Organizing Team

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    Mustapha Meghraoui

    Associate Editor
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    IPG Strasbourg, France

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    Najla Bouden-Romdhane

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    ENIT, Tunis, Tunisia

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    Paulina Amponsah

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Ghana

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    Nejib Bahrouni

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    ONM, Tunisia

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    Vunganai Midzi

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    CGS Pretoria, South Africa

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    Ahmed Ksentini

    Guest of Editorial Board
    Arabian Journal of Geosciences
    Sfax University, Tunisia