Aboud Afifi, Ph.D.


​Professor, Earth Science & Engineering

Research Interest

​Dr. Afifi's goals are to contribute significantly to understanding the Earth and to educate younger generations of earth scientists. . His research interests are the regional geology of the Middle East, particularly the geological evolution of the Red Sea; conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon and geothermal resources; applications of geodynamics and mineral phase equilibria to geological processes; and the formation of hydrothermal mineral deposits.  He has worked as a geologist and consultant for over thirty years.

Dr. Afifi leads the Arabian Plate Geology research group.


Research Interest keywords 

​Regional geology of the Middle East, particularly the geological evolution of the Red Sea.  Neotectonics and seismicity.   Conventional and unconventional geothermal and hydrocarbon resources.  Formation of hydrothermal mineral deposits.  Applications of geodynamics and mineral phase equilibria to geological processes.

Selected Publications

  • Saqqar: A 34 km diameter impact structure in Saudi Arabia
    Kenkmann, T., Afifi, A. M., Stewart, S. A., Poelchau, M. H., Cook, D. J. and Neville, A. S...
    Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12555, (2015)
  • Midyan Peninsula, northern Red Sea, Saudi Arabia: Seismic imaging and regional interpretation
    Tubbs, R.E., Aly Fouda, H. G., Afifi, A.M., Raterman, N.S., Hughes, G.W., and Fadolalkarem...
    , GeoArabia, v. 19, p. 165-184, (2014)
  • New Insights into the Hercynian Orogeny, and their implications for the Paleozoic hydrocarbon system in the Arabian...
    Faqira, M., Rademakers, M., and Afifi, A.
    GeoArabia, v. 14, p. 199-228, (2009)
  • Paleozoic stratigraphy and hydrocarbon habitat of the Arabian Plate
    Konert, G., Afifi, A.M., Al-Hajri, S.A., and Droste, H.
    GeoArabia, V. 6, No. 3, p. 407-442, (2001)
  • Phase Relations among tellurides, sulfides, and oxides: II. Applications to telluride-bearing ore deposits
    Afifi, A.M., Kelly, W.C., and Essene, Eric J.
    : Econ. Geology, v. 83, pp. 395-404, (1988)
  • MINFILE: a microcomputer program for storage and manipulation of chemical data on minerals
    Afifi, A.M. and Essene, E.J.
    American Mineralogist v. 73 (3-4), 446-448., (1988)


  • General Management Program, 2006, Harvard University.
  • PhD in Geology, 1990, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 
  • MS in Geology, 1981: Colorado School of Mines.
  • BS in Geology (high honors), 1977, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals 

Professional Profile

  • 2017-2018: Consultant, Red Sea Exploration, Saudi Aramco
  • 2008-2017: Unplaced Dept. Level, Exploration, Saudi Aramco
  • 2004-2008: Manager, Exploration Technical Services, Saudi Aramco
  • 2002-2004: Chief Geologist, Southern Fields Characterization, Saudi Aramco
  • 2000-2002: Senior Geological Consultant, Upstream Ventures, Saudi Aramco
  • 1997-1999: Chief Explorationist, Southern Area Exploration, Saudi Aramco
  • 1996-1997: Supervisor, Southern Fields Characterization Division, Saudi Aramco
  • 1991-1996: Geologist, Geological R&D, Saudi Aramco
  • 1980-1986: Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey Mission, Jeddah

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Member, Geohazards Research Center Technical Advisory Board, King Abdul Aziz University (2014-2017)
  • Member, Alumni Advisory Board, University of Michigan's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, 2010-2012.
  • President, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Middle East Region, 2006-2009.
  • Member, AAPG Advisory Council, 2002-2004
  • Member, Geo Conferences Organizing Committees, (1996-2000, 2008)
  • Associate Editor, GeoArabia, 2004-2015.
  • Vice President, Dhahran Geoscience Society, 1995
  • Member: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Dhahran Geoscience Society.


  • Distinguished Service Award, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2016)
  • AAPG International Distinguished Lecturer, 2004

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC)
  • Physical Science and Engineering Division (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

​Regional geology of the Middle East particularly the geological evolution of the Red Sea