Staff Reporter -
MUSCAT, Jan 31 -
Under the auspices of Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism, the ‘Field Guide to the Geology of Northeastern Oman’ was officially launched at the Annual General Meeting of the Geological Society of Oman (GSO) held at Crowne Plaza Muscat on Monday.
The publication is the product of a joint effort between GSO members and the German Geological Society (DGGV). The authors of the 283-pages field guide are Prof Dr Gösta Hoffmann of the Departments of Geoscience (GUtech and University of Bonn/Germany), as well as Prof Dr Martin Meschede (University of Greifswald/Germany), Dr Anne Zacke (University of Bonn) and Dr Mohammed al Kindi, former President of GSO.
The book was published by Borntraeger Science Publisher and is available internationally.
“Oman is like a museum. In Oman you can study the geology like nowhere else in the world. In contrast to many other countries, the rocks are accessible and visible on the surface,” said Prof Dr Gösta Hoffmann, adding that the geology of Oman is spectacular — for the touristic layman and the geologist alike.
“Exceptionally well exposed rocks offer a fascinating outcrop experience, second to none. The scenery is unique, and often breathtaking. As the field guide is written in a textbook style and presents the geology in a comprehensible way, a broad understanding is facilitated. Therefore, this book not only addresses geologists but also amateurs, visitors and travellers exploring the beauty and the significance of Oman’s geology,” he remarked.
The idea behind the field guide emerged during the academic stints of Prof Goesta Hoffmann and Anne Zacke at GUtech.
During numerous field trips and excursions that were conducted with the support of GSO, the geoscientists started to collect rocks.
They then set-up a special rock collection at GUtech, comprising around 1500 specimen of rocks.
The geological guidebook has two parts: The first provides a general introduction to the geology of Oman, and enables the reader to put the variety of geological phenomena and observations into a scientific context.
The authors emphasise describing the processes that led to the formation of Oman’s rocks and landscapes formed over millennia of Earth’s history.
Following the introductory chapters on archaeology, climate, and vegetation, the geomorphological and geological aspects of Oman are presented.
The second and largest part of the guide consists of meticulous descriptions of 99 excursion points located across the northeast of the country.
The authors, have carefully selected the most interesting and important sites.
The excursion points can easily be located by their coordinates, or may also be visited using the detailed roadmaps provided for each single outcrop.
A large number of colour illustrations, a geological overview map, an index, and a list of references complete the content of the guide.