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The geology of Oman is spectacular – for the touristic layman and the geologist alike. Exceptionally well exposed rocks offer a fascinating outcrop experience, second to none. The scenery is unique, and often breathtaking. The Samail Ophiolite (former sea floor you can walk on), mountain ranges, of more than 3000 m altitude, and deeply incised canyons with turquoise-coloured perennial streams, contrast with dry but golden sand deserts. Coastal areas with kilometres of white beaches are waiting to be discovered.
This geological guidebook has two parts: The first provides a general introduction to the geology of Oman, and enables the reader to put the variety of geological phenomena and observations into a scientific context. The authors emphasise describing the processes that led to the formation of Oman's rocks and landscapes formed over millennia of Earth history. Following the introductory chapters on archaeology, climate, and vegetation, the geomorphological and geological aspects of Oman are presented.
The second and largest part of Field Guide to the Geology of Northeastern Oman consists of meticulous descriptions of 99 excursion points located across the northeast of the country. The challenge in Oman is to decide where not to stop, rather than the other way round. The authors, therefore, have carefully selected the most interesting and important sites. The excursion points can easily be located by their coordinates, or may also be visited using the detailed roadmaps provided for each single outcrop. A large number of colour illustrations, a geological overview map, an index, and a list of references complete the content of the guide.
As Field Guide to the Geology of Northeastern Oman is written in a textbook style and presents the geology in a comprehensible way, a broad understanding is facilitated. Therefore, this field guide not only addresses geologists but also amateurs, visitors and travellers exploring the beauty and the significance of Oman geology.
Foreword and acknowledgements V
1 Introduction 1
2 Archaeology of Oman 5
2.1 Pre-Islamic Period 5
2.2 Islamic Period 15
3 Climate 16
3.1 Modern climate 16
3.2 Quaternary climate changes 17
4 Vegetation of Oman 18
4.1 Coast 19
4.2 Desert 20
4.3 Hajar Mountains 23
4.4 Dhofar Mountains 25
4.5 Land use 28
5. Geology of Oman 30
5.1 Geomorphology 30
5.2 Major tectono-stratigraphic units 34
5.3 Plate tectonic evolution 40
5.3.1 Excursus I Ophiolites 45
5.3.2 Excursus II: Snowball Earth - the largest glaciation in the
Earth's history 52
5.4 Main mineral resources of Oman 57
5.5 History of oil and gas exploration and production in Oman 60
6 Field sites 69