Lithofacies attributes, depositional system and diagenetic properties of the Permian Gharif Formation from Haushi-Huqf area, Central Oman

Iftikhar Ahmed Abbasi, Osman Salad Hersi, Abdulrahman Al-Harthy, Iman Al-Rashdi

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Over 70 m thick interbedded sandstone, siltstone and claystone of the upper member of the Gharif Formation are exposed in western Huqf area in Oman Interior Sedimentary Basin. The Gharif Formation, particularly its upper member hosts major hydrocarbon reservoir in the subsurface of the Oman Interior Sedimentary Basin. The upper member of the Gharif Formation is comprised of interbedded thick sandstone, siltstone, carbonaceous clays and intraformational conglomerates. The sandstone lithofacies, on average, constitute 10 m thick multistoreyed sequences, which are composed internally of 2-3 m thick and 100 s of metres across vertically and laterally amalgamated sandstone bodies. Two major types of sandstones (types 1 and 2) are identified on the basis of their lithofacies association and internal architecture. The type 1 sandstone constitutes the lower part of the member and is comprised of pebbly to coarse-grained, planar and trough cross-bedded sandstone, plane bedded sandstone and pebble lags at the base of major sandstone bodies. The cross-beds are, on average, 30 cm thick exhibiting a dominant paleoflow direction towards NW (280-300° N). It is interpreted to be deposited by low sinuosity braided streams. The type 2 sandstone constitutes the upper part of the member and is comprised of medium-grained sandstone, trough to low angle plane bedding associated with lateral accretion surfaces. It is commonly interbedded with carbonaceous clays. Silicified plant fragments are commonly distributed in the upper part of the sandstone. Interbedded clays and siltstones are red, mottled and extensively bioturbated due to root burrows. It is interpreted to be deposited by high sinuosity meandering streams. In the uppermost part of the section, several dark grey to black carbonaceous clay/coal beds with plant matter are interbedded with sandstone and red clay indicating development of swampy conditions during onset of the coastal setting in the uppermost part of the formation. About 30 cm thick bioclastic sandstone deposited by the marine coastal bars mark transition from the Gharif Formation to carbonate dominated Khuff Formation. The sandstone of the Gharif Formation is arkosic in composition. Very small amount of cement and negligible compaction of constituent grains in sandstone indicates shallow burial before uplift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4931-4945
Number of pages15
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • Gharif Formation
  • Huqf
  • Lithofacies association
  • Oman Interior Sedimentary Basin
  • Permian
  • Petrography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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