The Arabian Peninsula, lying between Africa and western Asia, has been of academic interest to geologists since the end of the last century in relation to rifting in the Red Sea, separation of Arabia and Africa, continental drift, sea floor spreading, and plate tectonics. It has been of interest also for the part it appears to have played in the folding and elevation of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran and the Oman Mountains during the Alpine orogeny. Since the 1930’s, close attention has been focused on the stratigraphy, structure, and economic geology of the eastern part of the peninsula, near the Arabian Gulf, the site of the world’s greatest petroleum deposits. More recently, from about 1950 to the present, the Saudi Arabian Directorate General of Mineral Resources and the United States Geological Survey have pursued an intensive program of mapping and mineral exploration in the Precambrian shield in western Arabia in an attempt to locate mineral deposits. The results of much of the above work have already been published and have led to a good, although incomplete, understanding of the geology and tectonic history of the Arabian Peninsula.


Saudi Arabia Arabian Peninsula Zagros Mountain Arabian Shield Alpine Orogeny 


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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1978

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  • R. W. Chapman

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