Reconnaissance for an Ediacaran Fauna, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

SGS-TR-2010-8 Patricia Vickers-Rich, Wieslaw Kozdroj , Fayek H. Kattan, Maxim Leonov, Andrei Ivantsov, Peter R. Johnson, Ulf Linnemann, Mandy Hofmann, Saad M. Al Garni, Ashraf Al Qubsani, Abdullah Shamari, Adeeb Al Barakati, Mohammad H. Al Kaff, Malgorzata Ziolkowska-Kozdroj, Thomas Rich, Peter Trusler, and Ben Rich
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ABSTRACT


This report presents results of two reconnaissance field-trips organized in 2008 and 2009 by the Saudi Geological Survey, in cooperation with specialists from Australia and Russia, with the purpose of finding the first definitive Ediacaran metazoans in the Arabian Shield. The youngest Ediacaran sediments known in Saudi Arabia are those of the Jibalah group, and ten areas were selected for examination. Most of the field work concentrated on searching almost unmetamorphosed weakly deformed successions of the Jibalah group represented by the Naghr, Dhaiqa and Jifn formations. Unfortunately, no definite remnants of an Ediacaran fauna were discovered. The only structures found of unequivocally organic origin are widespread microbially controlled bedding surfaces, with rare forms such as Beltanelloides and Nemiana, of possible algal affinity. Some structures that could be of metazoan nature include fragments of a possible Pteridinium-like form and another resembling the diploblastic-grade metazoan Eoandromeda octobrachiata.  One sample of re-deposited volcanic tuff layer collected from the middle part of the Dhaiqa formation yielded a SHRIMP U-Pb age of 560 ± 4 Ma for the youngest zircon population, indicating the maximum age of sedimentation.

 

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Vickers-Rich, P., Kozdroj, W., Kattan, F.H., Leonov, M., Ivantsov, A., Johnson, P.R., and others, 2010,  Reconnaissance for an Ediacaran fauna, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2010-8, 42 p., 74 figs., 1 tables, 1 pl.