Investigation of Facies Types and Associations of Kuhlan Red Bed Formation in NW Yemen: A New Hypothesis for Origin and Depositional Environment

Mohammed A. Al-Wosabi, Sa’ad Z. Al-Mashaikie


Varieties of thirteen facies types were recognized in the Kuhlan Formation represented by red bed siliciclastic sequences of argillaceous sediments. Examination of the Kuhlan stratigraphic column included sequence relationships, lithology, sedimentary characters, structures and petrography of the dominant rock types. These facies types are grouped in three distinct associations of facies. The lower unit A comprises association of facies (Distal turbidites) represented by alternates of turbidity sequences including sandstone, siltstone and thick shale beds. These facies types confirm a regressive depositional environment in deep marine shelf conditions. There are three facies types which are identified as massive sandstone, cross-bedded sandstone and pebbly sandstone facies. The middle unit B association of facies (Proximal turbedites) represents glaciomarine sequences displaying high lateral and vertical facies changes of glacioturbidite sediment alternates with diamictites and tillite beds. The sequences are affected by eustatic and eustatism of the glacial advance and retreat. This unit B includes eight types of facies. These are identified as; tillite, massive diamictites, stratified diamictites, laminated siltstone/shale, deformed siltstone/mudstone, graded rhythmic siltstone, massive conglomerate and cross-stratified sandy conglomerate facies. The upper unit C association of facies is represented by shallow marine shelf sequences displaying very thick massive and locally cross-bedded sand bar sandstone overlying the laminated siltstone/shale interbeds. The upward gradual changes in mineralogical composition and color confirms the start of marine transgression and later deposited platform Amran Group. Mineralogical composition of Kuhlan sandstone displays impure dirty rocks consisting of more than 30% of argillaceous matrix, 50% of cristobalite and quartz grains, more than 10% of ferruginous cement and 10% of detrital iron oxide grains, potash feldspar, igneous rock fragments and carbonate cement. It is classified as quartz greywacke type in the lower and middle parts and as quartz arenite with subarkoses in the upper part.




Kuhlan Formation, siliciclastics, red beds, facies, glacioturbidites, Diamictites, Yemen.

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