Sedimentology of the upper unit of the Fortuna Formation (Lower Miocene) in NE of Tunisia

D. Gómez-Gras, K. Zoghlami, D. Parcerisa

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The Fortuna Formation (Upper Oligocene-Lower Miocene) crops out widely in Tunisia and is composed by detrital rocks arranged in three units. The lower and middle units were deposited in deltaic-lagoonal environment, while the upper unit was deposited in fluvial environment. The upper unit of the Fortuna Formation (Aquitanian-Burdigalian) in northeast Tunisia, the subject of the present study, is 130 m thick and mostly made up of fine to very coarse sandstones with disperse quartz pebbles and containing tree stems. The section is arranged in 0.5 to 4 m thick beds with abundant cross-laminations indicating E and NE directed paleocurrents (parallel to main structural trend of the Tunisian Atlas). The presence of channel and sand-flat facies indicates that sedimentation took place in a fluvial braided environment. Petrologically, sandstones of the upper unit of the Fortuna Formation are texturally mature quartz-arenites with scarce rock fragments and feldspars. The source area was located to the SW (Sahara Platform). This fact is supported by the presence of quartz-cemented arenite clasts (Palaeozoic Tassilis sandstone, Cretaceous "continental intercalaire" and Eocene sandstone) and plutonic and metamorphic rock fragments (Hoggar basement massif) in the Sahara Platform. Recycling of ancient sedimentary formations is an important process to account for high quartz-grain content (occasionally with inherited overgrowths). Also contributing to this mature composition, the source area was probably affected by an alteration mantle that could made have been primarily eroded by the Miocene Fortuna fluvial network or, alternatively, recycled from older detrital formations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-510
JournalBoletin Geologico y Minero
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2004


  • Fluvial facies
  • Fortuna Formation
  • Lower Miocene
  • Sandstone
  • Sedimentology
  • Tunisia


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