This book describes in detail numerous geological sites throughout the Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates in Eastern Arabia. The region is well known for its oil and gas reserves in the interior, and the mountain ranges of the Musandam peninsula, Jebel al-Akhdar and Saih Hatat are the only areas where the full Permian-Mesozoic stratigraphic sections are completely exposed. Deep wadi canyons cut through these impressive mountain ranges, allowing unique three-dimensional views into the crust. The region also has numerous world-class sites of geological importance. These include the world's largest and best-exposed ophiolite complex, the Semail Ophiolite, a vast thrust sheet of Cretaceous oceanic crust and upper mantle emplaced onto the Arabian continental margin. These rocks provide direct analogues for the composition and structure of the world's oceans. Other ophiolites are exposed along the Indian Ocean coastline, particularly on Masirah Island. Numerous world-class fossil sites are scattered across the Oman Mountains, in the Huqf region of Dhofar and the desert interior. Other notable sites include subduction zone metamorphic rocks, the eclogites and blueschists exposed around northeast Oman, the world's largest and most beautifully exposed sheath fold along Wadi Mayh, numerous spectacular Precambrian salt domes intruding to the surface, and of course the world-famous sand dunes of the Rub al' Khali, the Empty Quarter of Central Arabia, and the separate Wahiba (Sharkiyah) sandsea of Eastern Oman.
Oman and the United Arab Emirates have a rich geological heritage and are home to some of the most spectacular sites in the world. Descriptions of the field geology of each geological site are accompanied by a wealth of maps, colour photos and diagrams illustrating their key features. Geology of the Oman Mountains, Eastern Arabia includes a history of the exploration of Arabia and the search for its buried oil and gas reserves. In addition, it provides the geological basis for the establishment of a series of World Heritage Sites, National GeoParks, and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) throughout the region.
Mike Searle has been working closely with the Geological Society of Oman (GSO) in establishing these sites and protecting them from development. He has worked on geological research projects in Oman and the UAE almost every year since 1977, and has a deep love of the country, and respect for its people, its traditions, and its spectacular geology. Given the nature of its content, this book will appeal to a broad readership including geologists, tourists, mountaineers, rock climbers, cavers, trekkers and naturalists.
PART I: Geography, history and Exploration
Chapter 1: Arabia Geography and Exploration
Chapter 2: Exploration of the Oman - UAE Mountains
PART II: Geology
Chapter 3: Geology of the Oman - UAE Mountains
Chapter 4: Ophiolites and Structure of the Oman - UAE Mountains
Chapter 5: Oil and Gas
PART III: Regional GeoPark Sites
Chapter 6: Musandam and Straits of Hormuz
Chapter 7: United Arab Emirates
Chapter 8: Northern Oman Mountains
Chapter 9: Ibri - Wadi Hawasina - Rustaq
Chapter 10: Jebel al-Akhdar
Chapter 11: Muscat - As Sifah
Chapter 12: Saih Hatat
Chapter 13: Sharkiyah, Eastern Oman Mountains
Chapter 14: Central Oman, Wahiba Sands and Al Wusta
Chapter 15: Dhofar and the Frankincense coast
Chapter 16: Rub al'Khali - Empty Quarter
Chapter 17: Geo-heritage and Conservation
Mike Searle is a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. His geological interests include the tectonic evolution of mountain belts, in particular processes associated with subduction, ophiolite formation and obduction, folding and thrusting, regional metamorphism and crustal melting. His work chiefly focuses on the Alpine-Himalayan belt, the Karakoram ranges and Tibetan Plateau region, as well as Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan). One of his research projects is in the Oman Mountains, UAE, where he is engaged in detailed structural mapping and investigations on the P-T-t evolution of sub-ophiolite metamorphic rocks.