Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

Hot Springs — Desert hot springs are rough-and-ready things, so don’t expect changing facilities, wooden decking, and a swim-up bar.

Sometimes the pool is just a natural depression, but most of the time it’s actually a cement tank designed to collect irrigation water.

There are a number of hot springs around Bahareya, and choosing the right one is a bit like Goldilocks choosing her porridge — Bir al Ramla’s too hot (113°F/45°C) and Bir al Mattar is too cold (unless it’s a really hot day), but for me, Bir al Ghaba’s just right.

Unlike several others, it’s also a bit off the beaten track; about 15km (10 miles) northeast of town, past the International Health Center and past Bir al Mattar.

{google_map}Egypt Bahariya oasis{/google_map}

Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

Etiquette demands that if you arrive to find it occupied, you wait your turn.

Women should not go bathing alone, particularly after dark, and should bathe in at least a one-piece bathing suit and a T-shirt.

Something to keep in mind is that the temperature of these springs changes from time to time. It’s not a bad idea to take the advice of a local on the matter of which spring is the best at the time of your visit.

The Bahariya Oasis is one of the most attractive sites for geologists and tourists, located in the Western Desert of Egypt about 370 km southwest of Cairo with only one rest-café in half of the way, between latitudes 27° 48′ and 28° 30′ N and 28° 35′ and 29°10′ E ,and has an altitude of about 128 m under the sea level and covers a surface area of 1800 km2 , the Bahariya oasis belongs to the ” Giza ” governorate and its capital is a small city called ” Bawiti ” .

Bahariya Oasis is the smallest of the four oasis depressions, only 94km long and 42km wide. On the way to the Bahariya Oasis you will see the Qaroun Petroleum company and its rigs on the way sides inside the desert Bahariya oasis was known and famous in Egypt History but, gained more fame and intensive studies in the last four decades following the discovery of economically significant iron ore deposits in the region in 1961. It is famous for its good quality Date Palm, Olive , sulfur water hot springs such as ” Bir Sigam ” , ” Bir Ramla Egypt western desert ” , ” Bir el-Negba ” and ” Bir al-Mattar ” And also famous for the huge dinosaur fossil that called Bahariyasaurs General Geology: ———————- Bahariya oasis is one of the two Cretaceous rock exposures in the Northwestern desert while the other is at Gebel Abu Roash, El-Bahariya Oasis is a naturally excavated oval-shaped topographic depression formed from the erosion of a double plunged anticline fold assigned to the s-shaped ” Syrian Arch Folding Event ” during the late cretaceous to early tertiary,It is entirely surrounded by escarpments, where its major long axis trending NE-SW direction, with a narrow blunt pointed extension at each end.

Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

Bahariya depression has a large number of isolated hills and inselbergs that gives the Bahariya an different appearance from the other Egyptian oases , the most strongly marked group of hills is that extending in a nearly straight northeast direction , the largest hill of the range is called Gebel El-Hefhuf There are some theories comprises the origin and genesis of the depression: 1- Wind action ( Erosion ) 2- Tectonic movement 3- Tectonics and wind action 4- Mullticontrolling factors: many erosional cycles involving weathering, pedogenic, karstic, fluvial and aeplian processes The main Bahariya depression begins with what is called ” Eocene Plateau ” that extends from the northern entrance of it approximately at km 235 form Cairo to the beginning of the main Bahariya scarp ( Naqb El-Bahariya ) about 70 km northeast of El-Gedida city The Eocene Plateau is the gentle slope of the most outer scarp of Bahariya depression , looking southward , the Eocene plateau dissected into a series of table lands , the plateau group contains Naqb , El Qazzun and Hamra Formations The Seton Hills , The Melon-shaped Concreations and The Oligocene Silicified Woods are characteristic geologic features and stops on the Eocene Plateau By the end of the Eocene plateau the main Bahariya depression begins at an area called ” Naqb El-Bahariya ” where the slope is more steep downward to the main Bahariya oasis depression and the older beds , at Naqb El Bahariya there are two rock units exposed , the Bahariya Formation overlain unconformably by the Naqb Formation. Structural Geology: ———————– El-Bahariya Oasis is considered to be a major doubly plunging anticline with a NE-SW trend, a typical structure of the Syrian Arc Folding belt.

The axis of this great anticline runs in a southwest trend from Gebel Ghorabi in the north, passing to the central hills of the depression to the southern part of the oasis and seems to continue south to include El-Farafra structure.

The Most Striking Structural Features Of Bahariya Oasis Are: Folds : 1- Folds of NE – SW trend : along this trend folds from north to south are: * Ghorabi Plunged Anticline * Hammad Syncline * Radwan-El Gedida Anticline * El Hefuf Syncline * El Heiz Plunged Anticline * El-Ris Anticline * The Sandstone Hill Anticline 2- Folds of E – W trend: from north to south they are: * North El-Tebaniya Anticline * El-Tebaniya Syncline * South El-Tebaniya Anticline 3- Folds of NW – SE trend: * North Naqb El Dalla Anticline * South Naqb El Dalla Anticline Faults : El-Bahariya Oasis characterized by three different striking major fault systems.

The NE-SW faults which running parallel to El-Bahariya major anticline represent the most common fault trend with a throw ranges between 40 and 50 m, respectively.

The NW-SE faults are the second common trend at El-Bahariya area and have relatively low throws compared with NE-SW faults (30- 40 m). The E-W trending faults are the least common in El-Bahariya with throw reach about 40 m (Abdel Ati,2002).

Geomorphology: ———————- El-Bahariya Oasis is one of the naturally excavated depressions located in the Western Desert of Egypt (in the Eocene limestone plateau); it is believed to be of tectonic origin, started during the Lower Eocene times.

It differs from the other oases in being entirely surrounded by escarpments and in having a large number of isolated hills within the depression. Three morphological features are distinguished in El-Bahariya depression.

The plateau surface (its surface is ragged with a northward slope and dissected by long to short dry wadies draining into the excavated depression); The bounded escarpments (having different modes of formation and run in most irregular manner to form well marked embayment and promontories and its face takes the shape of a questa); and The depression (the floor of the depression is excavated in the soft clastics of El-Bahariya Formation).

Several landforms are well developed on the depression floor area, where some of them are of structural origin, while the other is of depositional nature. Among them are the isolated cone Karst hills that characterizes the Naqb Formation , sand dunes , Mesas , Flood Plains , Pediment area and Table Lands The ” Seton Hill ” is one of remarkable hills in the northern Eocene plateau, it is formed of the Hamra Formation ,truncated unconformably by sandstones and conglomerates of tr Oligocene Qatrani Formation.

Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

The Melon-shaped concreations or Desert Melon or Boulders Fields or Melon Fields refers to the same geomorphological feature that belongs to the Qazzun Formation limestone on the Eocene Plateau Hydrogeology:  The Nubian Sandstone represents the main water-bearing horizon in the studied area. It consists of continental elastic sediments, mainly sandstone alternating with shale and clays.

The groundwater system in the studied area is hydraulically connected with the surrounding and the underlying aquifers through a good pathways or channels that permit upward leakage.

Accordingly, the Nubian sandstone aquifer in El-Bahariya Oasis is described as a multilayered artesian aquifer that behaves as one hydrogeologic system.

The result of the detailed hydrogeologic studies of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer system in El-Bahariya Oasis revealed that the aquifer attains a total thickness of about 1,800 m (Parsons, 1962; Ezzat, 1974; Euro and Pacer, 1983).

The groundwater bearing horizons in the investigated area follow two aquifer systems (Khalifa, 2006).

The first is Post-Nubian sandstone aquifer System (occurs to the north of latitude 26º in the Western Desert of Egypt (CEDARE, 2001).

The second is The Nubian sandstone aquifer system which represents the main water-hearing horizon in the studied area consists of continental clastic sediments mainly sandstone alternating with shale and clays (Himida, 1964; Diab, 1972).

The transmissivity of the main aquifer vary from 236 to 3045 m2/day (high to moderate potentiality aquifer) with gradual increase from the southern to northeastern direction.

Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

The storage coefficient values range between 1.04×10!4 and 5.22×10!3, which ensure that the Nubian sandstone aquifer is classified as semi-confined to confined aquifer type.

The hydraulic conductivity values vary from to 0.46 m/day in the northern part to 10.88 m/day in the southern part with an average of 5.67 m/day (Hamdan and Sawires Sedimentary Iron Ore

Deposites in Bahriayia Oasis:

 Introduction: The iron is represented minerlogically by a range of minerals.

In ferruginous late rites formed during deep tropical weathering it is commonly present as red-brown hydroxides and oxides (limonite, FeO(OH).nH20; goethite, FeO(OH); hematite, Fe203). These are generated under oxidizing conditions from many kinds of country rock. The ferruginous lateritic soils of Cuba, for example, rest on weathered serpentinites.

The iron minerals and the soils form a large reservoir of iron feeding into water bodies, not only fresh water such as Lake Chad, but also estuaries, delta-fronts and oceans.

Freshwater bog ores, typifying certain present-day marshes and shallow lakes in Sweden and Finland, contain as much as 70% limonite in a disseminated and concretionary form.

Manganese, which has a geochemical affinity with iron, can be precipitated with it in sufficient abundance to take the form of wad or bog-manganese (hydrous oxides of variable composition).

Residual and placer deposits developed by the selective concentration and mechanical and chemical winnowing of relatively heavy grains are often rich in iron minerals derived from nearby country rocks.

Ilmenite (FeTi03) and magnetite (Fe304) are abundant in ‘black sand’ alluvial and marine placers. In ancient iron-formations the dominant iron minerals are goethite, berthierine, chamosite, greenalite, stilpnomelane, siderite, pyrite, magnetite and hematite. Glauconitic is comparatively rare.

The Bahariya Oasis is a large depression in the Western Desert of Egypt with hot, dry climatic conditions.

It is located about 370 km SW of Cairo and 180 km west of the Nile Valley, and is of special interest due to the presence of great reserves (280 million metric tones) of iron ore deposit (Said, 1990).

The sedimentary iron ores are found in (4) areas in the Bahariya Oasis, 1- El-Gedida 2- Naser 3- Gebel Ghorabi 4- El-Harra Bahariya iron ores have 52 % iron percent that is suitable for the iron high ovens in Helwan City factories , now , iron ores excavated from El-Gedida mine with an annual rate 3.3 Million Tons then carried about 300 km away to Helwan City factories by a special train. The El-Gideda mine area is an oval shaped depression up to 15 km2, situated within the degraded karst cone hills of the Naqb Formation of Middle Eocene age.

The central part of the depression is characterized by a high relief (up to 254 m above sea level). The low Wadi area, up to 198 m a.s.l., surrounds the high central area, which is built up by the Cenomanian clastics at the base, overstepped by the main Lutetian iron ore successions.

El-Gedida mine has a structural setting of two normal faults dividing it into three parts, a central plateau and two valleys on its two sides , and has 140 Million Tons of the all 280 Million Tons spare iron ores

in Bahariya Oasis ,Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

and has about 6 square km surface area with a face wall reaches 45 meters tall , it was first discovered in 1961 by Dr.Abdo Abdo EL-Basiouny , the spirit father of the Bahariya iron mines , he discovered it by chance when his car wheel got stuck in the sand and torn away the sands exposing the under iron bearing sediments.

In the Eastern and Western Wadi areas,

the ore successions are truncated unconformably by late Lutetian-Bartonian glauconitic sediments with lateritic ironstone interbeds of the Hamra Formation .

The iron ore and the overlying glauconitic sediments are folded and undulated.

The iron ore sequence attains its maximum thickness, up to 35 m, in the Western and Eastern Wadi areas, reduced into 11 m in the high central area.

This iron ore sequence consists of a pisolitic oolitic iron stone unit followed by highly karstified bedded ferruginous dolostones and mudstones.

Ore conglomerates mixed with silicified limestone and chert overly the karst ore. The genesis of the ores has been a matter of a scientific discussion for a long time.

Origins Of Iron ores in Bahariya Oasis:

El-Sharkawi and Khalil (1977) distinguished three genetic types of the El-Gideda iron ore: (1)- massive hydrothermal metasomatic; (2)- porous or massive, derived from mobilized iron and manganese redeposit in fresh water lakes, possibly through biogenic activity; (3)- a product of the weathering of glauconitic clays and sands, usually with an oolitic or pisolitic texture.

Dabous (2002), supported the hypothesis that the ore is epigenetic of fresh groundwater origin and formed in two different stages: (1)- the iron is oxidized and leached from the sandstone of the Nubia Aquifer by upward moving of hot groundwater and deposited in the overlying pre-existing Lower-Middle Eocene Karstic limestone, in the first stage under a dry climatic condition; (2)- the iron is then leached from the glauconitic clayey beds, infiltrated downwards and deposited on the underlying primary ore in the successive wet pluvial periods.

During these two stages, initial structures, variation in pH-Eh, and biological activities were the main factors controlling the deposition and character of the ore.

The thickness of the overlying glauconitic sediments varies from up to 25 m in the Western and Eastern Wadi areas to less than 1 m in the high central area.

According to Mesaed and Surour (1999), the glauconite facies of the El-Gideda mine area represents deposition in a shallowing upward regime and consists of two large-scale cycles: (1)- stratiform syndiagenetic glauconitic ironstone pockets and concretions predominating within the lower parts of the small-scale cycles; (2)- lateritic glauconitic ironstones, which formed during intermittent periods of subaerial weathering and lateritization of the parental glaucony facies Examples Of Iron Ores OXIDES: Hematite Fe2O3 , Magnetite Fe3 O4 , Limonite Fe OH .n H2O Goethite FeO.OH Oxides are formed in oxidizing environment SILICATES: Glauconite Fe K Al Si3 O8 OH , Chamosite , Greenalite Silicates are forming in a slightly oxidizing ang slightly reductive Kkkkkk environment SULPHIDES: Byrite FeS2 , Marcasite Sulphides are forming in a reductive environment CARBONATES: Siderite FeCo3 Carbonates are forming in a slightly oxidizing ang slightly reductive environment Naqb El-Bahariya:  The word ( Naqb ) means the entrance , at this area the gentle slope of the Eocene Plateau ends turning into a more steep scarp to the main Bahariya depression.

There are only two stratigraphic units exposed in Naqb El-Bahariya , the Early Cenomanian Bahariya Formation unconformably overlain by the Early Eocene Naqb Formation , the unconformity there is in 3 types , angular unconformity , paraconformity and disconformity El-Sahara El-Sawda ( The Black Desert ): A little to the North of the White Desert, the Black Desert is closer to Bahariya than Farafra; approximately 50 km to the South of Bawiti.

The mountains have eroded to coat the desert with a layer of black powder and rocks giving it its name , for geologists this black coating thin layer is a geomorphological feature and a sedimentological evidence for the unconformity called ” Desert Varnish ” .

Towards the end of the Black Desert are black volcanic hills that ages ago erupted a dark volcanic material called dolerite, which is what the black rocks are made of.

Climb up the English ( Engleez )

Mountain which is the highest point in the Black Desert and you will be awarded with an amazing view of the strange landscape.

Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

The Black Desert

can be seen as you pass the road from Bahariya to Farafra, but if you want to venture in to its depths a tour guide is advised, tours can easily be arranged from either Bahariya or Farafra.

Gebel El-Krystal ( The Crystal Mountain ):- One of the most attractive sites for geologists and tourists , The name “mountain” is result of Arabic speakers using the word for mountain also for formations that are really small.

The Crystal Mountain Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

is not really a mountain, rather a rock or ridge, it was an old cave or subvolcanic vault filled with Calcite crystals from a hydrothermal event The old cave was collapsed by the karstification and only the cave entrance is still exist as a natural rocky arch It is located (28° 26′ E and 27° 39′ N) on the road between the Bahariya and Farafra oasis , northern of the White Desert The origin of this Crystal Mountain is interesting.

The hill was opened during works at the road from Farafra to Bahariya by chance and destroyed in part. The material was installed into the road.

Today is the Crystal Mountain a popular stop for the tourists. Still more interesting is the geological context.

The hill is not a paleokarst cave with columnar-shaped stalagmites.

It is a subvolcanic vault, which was emerged probably during the Oligocene age.

The visible layers are e.g. White Desert limestone of the Khoman Fm.* (Late Cretaceous age), as well as a younger coal seam and hydrothermal impregnated reddish to brownish ferruginous layers.

The strata are broken or brecciated and intensely with each other folded. It is to be ascertained intense heat. The coal seam e.g. was transformed to anthracite (?).

The crystals have increased out of climbed hydrovolcanic solutions.

The hot solutions were high concentrated with BaSO4 and/or CaCO3, which had been solved from the sediments.

The solutions have penetrated into all cavities. After cooling of the solutions the crystals could increase.

It were formed columns or round domes with crystals within. Note that the old cave ground was covered with vertebrate fossiliferous ferruginous sandstone.

El-Sahara El-Baiydaa ( The White Desert ):

 The white desert protectorate is one of most attractive geological and touristic sites , it is located 500 km away from Cairo and 45 km to the north of Farafra Oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt , it covers a surface area of 3010 km2 , was accepted as a national park in 2002 The term ( White ) comes from its chalk & limestone rocks’ color that make you feel that you are standing in Antarctica .

It is characterized by its mushroom-shaped rocks that belongs to Khoman Chalk of Maastrichtian age ( uppermost cretaceous ) since about 145.5 million years ago that was deposited in the deep past of the earth when the area was covered by the Great Tethys Sea that divided the earth into two parts northern and southern , some of these rocks took some names by the beduins according to its shape that was formed by wind action ( erosion ).

examples: -Farkha ( chiken-like ) rock that is used as a logo for the protectorate -Al Hossan ( Horse-like ) rock , El Sakr ( Eagle-like )rock & Elkhabour ( columnar-like) rock & El shamsya ( Umbrella-like ) rock.

Gebel El- Dist ( Dist Mountain ) & its Dinosaurs It is one of the most remarkable sites in Bahariya Oasis , it is a pyramid-like mountain with 170 m height , base perimeter of 800 m and top perimeter of 30 m .

someone says that the Giza pharaonic pyramids building style was taken from the shape of the

Dist Mount.

Geologically the Dist mountain is the type section of the Bahariya Formation in Egypt Another source for its fame comes from its dinosaur fossil-bearing beds , partiqularly the theropod dinosaur that was first discovered in 1914 by the German paleontologist Ernst Stromer and was called Bahariasaurus , one of the ever giant dinosaurs that once lived on the earth , it is in the same size range as Tyrannosaurus the dinosaur skeleton was really discovered and taken to the USA in 2002 by a scientific group from Bennsilvania to perform the scientific tests and age dating for it and take it back to Egypt in a time during 18 months period Bahariasaurus age is between 93.5 and 99 million years owing to the Cenomanian age of the Cretaceous period of the Cenozoic era Ernst Stromer also discovered in Egypt the Aegyptosaurus, , Carcharodontosaurus, and the largest known theropod, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.

The type species, B. ingens, was described by Ernst Stromer in 1934,though the type specimen was destroyed during World War II.Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

The exact placement of Bahariasaurus is uncertain, although it has been variously assigned to several theropod groups, including Carcharodontosauridae (by Rauhut in 1995) and Tyrannosauroidea (by Chure in 2000). It is potentially synonymous with Deltadromeus, another theropod from the early Late Cretaceous of North Africa, this would possibly make it the largest ceratosaur.Bir Ramla Egypt western desert

More specimens would be needed to more accurately classify it, and to determine its relationship to Deltadromeus Gebel El-Maghrafa :  It is the neighborhood mountain to the Dist mount its name ” Maghrafa ” is an Arabian meaning comes from its scoop-like shape .

it is located about 50 m away from Dist mount. Its height is little less than of the Dist mount , its base perimeter is 600 m and its top perimeter is 15 m The Dist and the Maghrafa mounts area was accepted as a national park There are some other mountains in the Bahariya oasis such as El-Hefhuf , Mandisha , Tobog , Engleez , Ghorabi , Radwan , El Heiz 

 

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