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Thickness variation of the sedimentary cover in the South Western Desert of Egypt as deduced from Bouguer gravity and drill-hole data using neural network method


The Bouguer anomaly map of scale 1:500,000 and the lithological logs of more than 120 deep wells distributed in the Southern part of Western Desert of Egypt were used to determine the thickness of the sedimentary cover containing the main sandstone water formation. The predominant structures affecting both the basement rock and the sedimentary cover were also studied. Gravity stripping approach was applied to separate density anomalies within the sedimentary fill from the influence of deeper levels in the crystalline crust. The study indicated that the surface of the basement rock is highly rugged and mostly controlled by structures causing variation of the sedimentary cover thickness from location to other all over the area. Isopach maps were constructed based on the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model which is considered a best method for that operation. The maximum thickness of sandstone formations is recorded at west Oweinat, southwest of Aswan, Dakhla oasis and west of Qena town. As this formation is the main water aquifer in the study area, therefore these locations are characterized by the presence of huge amount of ground water. Accordingly, these areas must be taking the priority in the programs of sustainable development in southern Egypt.


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Correspondence to Mohamed Abdel Zaher.

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Zaher, M.A., Senosy, M.M., Youssef, M.M. et al. Thickness variation of the sedimentary cover in the South Western Desert of Egypt as deduced from Bouguer gravity and drill-hole data using neural network method. Earth Planet Sp 61, 659–674 (2009).

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Key words

  • Bouguer anomaly map
  • isopach map
  • Dahkla
  • Kharga
  • Oweinat
  • Aswan
  • Bir Safsaf