Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 505–520 | Cite as

Facies Analysis and Sequence Stratigraphy of Al-Kharrar Lagoon Coastal Sediments, Rabigh Area, Saudi Arabia: Impact of Sea-Level and Climate Changes on Coastal Evolution

  • Ibrahim M. GhandourEmail author
  • Rabea A. Haredy
Research Article - Earth Sciences


This study employs the results of facies analyses and sequence stratigraphy of the coastal plain sediments of Al-Kharrar Lagoon, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, to interpret the impact of Late Quaternary sea-level and climate changes on sedimentation, facies distribution and Red Sea coastal evolution. Facies analysis of the sediments that crop out in a recently excavated quarry section and those recovered from six shallow cores obtained from the tidal flat south Al-Kharrar Lagoon enabled identifying four facies associations characterizing fluvial, intertidal–supratidal, lagoonal and intertidal flat deposits. Facies architecture and sequence stratigraphic interpretations indicate two distinct depositional stages. The first stage included the deposition of marine-influenced gravel-dominated fluvial channel deposits interdigitating with or overlain by grey lagoonal mud and fine sands suggesting deposition during a period of progressive sea-level rise and enhanced precipitation. The second stage records deposition of prograding intertidal–supratidal deposits containing calcareous nodules and mottles and evaporite minerals at quarry section suggesting deposition during a sea-level fall under an arid climate. The results of this study are correlated with the Late Quaternary periods of humidity and aridity. It is found that the first stage corresponds to the postglacial early–middle Holocene sea-level rise and wet climate, whereas the second stage corresponds to the mid- to late Holocene isostatically controlled sea-level fall and arid climate.


Al-Kharrar Lagoon Red Sea coastal plain Calcareous paleosols Late Quaternary climate Sea level 


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This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant No. 458-150/1434. The authors, therefore, acknowledge with thanks DSR for technical and financial support. The authors are very grateful for the reviewers and the editor for their constructive comments and editorial handling


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© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Geology, Faculty of Marine ScienceKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

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