Geomorphological and sedimentological study of submerged reefs in the southern Red Sea


Project Description

Previous bathymetric data acquired in the southern Red Sea by our group show the presence of irregular depressions on the surface of submerged reefs. Whether these geomorphological features are related to an aerial dissolution of carbonates rocks (i.e. karstification), fluids escaping seafloor (i.e. pockmarks, salt tectonic-related...), or submarine dissolution processes (i.e. collapse associated with the dissolution of the underlying salt-rich sediments) would have huge implications on the paleogeography of the Red Sea. The objectives of this project are (1) to better characterize the submerged reefs/terraces and the associated geomorphologies and (2) to analyze surface and shallow surface sediments to better constrain the timing and processes at the origin of their formation. Moreover, acting as a giant trap, we would expect that the potential sediments (pelagic sediments, storm deposits, lagoonal muds, and reef debris) deposited subsequently to the depression’s formation serve as a fantastic proxy for the Quaternary climate records.
Program - Earth Science and Engineering
Division - Physical Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center
Field of Study - Carbonate sedimentology and geomorphology

About the

Guillaume Baby

Guillaume Baby

Desired Project Deliverables

1) Precise mapping of the geomorphological features that characterize the platforms of the southern Red Sea. Mapping will be carried out using GIS software. The student will provide a QGIS project at the end of the internship. 2) Description and analysis of sediment cores. This will include a detailed sedimentological description (lithology, granulometry, sedimentary structures, etc.). The cores will then be CT scanned. Geochemical analysis and carbon-14 dating may also be carried out in collaboration with Ifremer. 3) Interpretation of acoustic profiles (seismic, sparker) using specialized software (Petrel, Move). 4) The final report will be in the form of an end-of-study report that will serve as a frame for a scientific publication.