13 AprEarth Science and Engineering Special SeminarZOOM WEBINAR: Recent benthic foraminifera from nearshore and intertidal environments of the Arabian Gulf
ZOOM WEBINAR: Recent benthic foraminifera from nearshore and intertidal environments of the Arabian Gulf
  • Dr. Flavia Fiorini
  • Khalifa University
  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021
  • 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
2021-04-13T13:002021-04-13T14:00Asia/RiyadhZOOM WEBINAR: Recent benthic foraminifera from nearshore and intertidal environments of the Arabian GulfKAUST, WEBINAR VIA ZOOMProf. Matteo Ravasimatteo.ravasi@kaust.edu.sa


Zoom webinar link: 


Abstract: The distribution of Recent and living benthic foraminifera from nearshore, lagoonal and intertidal environments adjacent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) coastline was studied in detail in order to 1) produce a taxonomic data bank of shallow marine foraminifera for this region; 2) identify foraminiferal associations in nearshore and transitional environments adjacent to the UAE coastline, including pristine natural environments and areas affected by anthropogenic activities: 3) provide an analogue for interpreting ancient shallow-marine and coastal depositional environments of the UAE.

Three hundred sediment samples were collected in different sedimentary environments characterized by carbonate sedimentation as nearshore shelf, beach, tidal channels, ooid shoals, lagoon, mangals, and intertidal ponds. Samples were collected within the first 15 m of water-depth. The water salinity at the sample locations ranged between 40‰ in the nearshore locations and 180‰ in the intertidal ponds. Miliolids belonging to the genera Quinqueloculina, Triloculina, Spiroloculina, Sigmoilinita are common in most of the studied locations. Larger benthic foraminifera Peneroplis and Coscinospira are particularly abundant in samples collected on seaweed and in intertidal hypersaline ponds. In hypersaline environment larger benthic foraminifera commonly show tests with abnormal growing. Hyaline foraminifera mostly belonging to the genera Elphidium, Ammonia, Bolivina and Rosalina are also common together with Miliolidae in the nearshore shelf, beach-front and outer lagoon. Ammonia and Elphidium are abundant in mangrove facies. Among the agglutinated foraminifera, the genus  Reophax occur only in the finest grain samples, particularly in lagoons and mangal environments.  Trochammina occurs exclusively and in high percentages in muddy samples collected near mangrove roots and Entzia only in high marsh facies. The majority of the ooid shoal sediments, the coarser sediments of the beach-front and samples collected in dredged channels contain a scarse number of foraminifera.

The detailed report of benthic foraminifera and sedimentary facies distribution may provide a modern analogue to understand shallow carbonate depositional environments of the past and to distinguish nearshore and lagoonal facies, mangals, marshes, and hypersaline ponds.

Biography: Flavia Fiorini was Assistant Professor of Geology/Paleontology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Khalifa University and at The Petroleum Institute (UAE) from 2009 to 2020. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Professor, she was Post Doctoral Researcher at Smithsonian Institute (Panama), Dalhousie University (Canada), and Bologna University (Italy).

Dr Fiorini is a micropaleontologist specialized in benthic foraminifera. She is interested in any aspect of foraminiferal research, in particular, recent and living foraminiferal distribution and diversity, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, and foraminifera taxonomy. Her research currently focuses on benthic foraminifera from natural and anthropogenic-affected coastal environments of the Arabian Gulf and of the South China Sea. She has several articles in paleontology and geology journals and presented her research at international conferences. Dr. Fiorini studied at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (Ph.D.) and at the University of Bologna (MSC).


  • Prof. Matteo Ravasi
  • matteo.ravasi@kaust.edu.sa