Mesozoic Carbonates in Ethiopia

Unravelling sea level fluctuations in the Middle Jurassic Blue Nile basin, central Ethiopia

The early to middle Jurassic represented a critical time for the breakup of Gondwana and the development of a passive margin around the newly disintegrated East African margin. The rift to drift transition of east and west Gondwana facilitated the transgression of the Neotethys Sea. As a result, thick sedimentary sequences were deposited in several rift basins along the east African Passive margin.

My research focuses on Jurassic sedimentary Succession of the Blue Nile (Abbay) sedimentary basin in Central Ethiopia. The peritidal succession (also known as the Gohatsion formation) is composed of cyclic intercalation of siliciclastic, carbonate and evaporite rocks. I aim to detangle the small-scaled facies variations, their palaeoenvironmental interpretation, and their significance in terms of Middle-Jurassic sea-level changes, and rift tectonics.

Marginal basins and transitional environments are mostly affected by large-scaled and small-scaled eustatic sea-level variations. Understanding the effect of absolute sea-level change on marginal basins is crucial to predict the effect of future sea-level change due to global warming. Considering the unique sedimentological archive of the Gohatsion Formation, readily exposed along the Blue Nile river canyon, the outcome of this project will provide some new results on the stratigraphy and evolution of Mesozoic sediments in the Blue Nile Basin and its role in the evolution of neighboring sedimentary basins.