Sedimentological characteristics of the surficial sediments of the Kuwaiti marine environment, northern Arabian Gulf



The textural characteristics, carbonate content and the coarse fraction components of the Recent bottom sediments of the marine environment off Kuwait are described and the faunal-sediment associations discussed. The sediments were subdivided into seven textural classes, namely sand, silty sand, muddy sand, sandy silt, sandy mud, silt and mud. Most of the study area is covered with muddy sediments whereas sandy deposits are restricted to the rocky bottoms near the southern flat of Kuwait Bay, the southern coast of Kuwait and around the islands and bathymetric highs. The textural classes, carbonate contents and faunal types of the coarse fraction were used to construct a biolithofacies map of the marine bottom sediments off Kuwait, in which nine facies are identified. The sedimentological characteristics of the Recent marine bottom sediments off Kuwait reflect the interaction between autochthonous calcareous fragments mostly of biogenic origin, lime rock fragments derived from beachrocks and submerged reef flats, and allochthonous terrigenous detritus transported to the area mainly by dust storms. The Kuwaiti offshore area is generally a low energy depositional environment with little sediment transport.