Distinguishing Fluvio-Marine Environments in the Nile Delta Using Heavy Minerals


  • O. E. Frihy
  • M. A. El Askary
  • E. M. Deghidy
  • W. M. Moufaddal


Heavy minerals, coastal sediments, depositional environments


This study distinguishes fluvio-marine environments in the Nile delta of Egypt by evaluating quantitatively the heavy mineral composition of 170 samples. These environments include: fluvial (river overbank), lagoon, coastal dune, accretion ridge, beach, nearshore and prodelta. To differentiate between these environments, the raw number percentage of heavy minerals was evaluated with computer-generated bivariate plots. Evaluation of these plots exhibits satisfactory discriminations between most of the examined environments, particularly those which are geographically closed. This differentiation is interpreted in the light of sediment provenance, selective sorting by dynamic factors and nature of the transport agent.

As a test of the applicability of these results, the depositional paleo-environment of "unknown" core samples is satisfactorily determined using the previously evaluated plots. The results show the potential effectiveness of heavy minerals for making environmental discriminations.