Abdulkader Afifi, Ph.D.


​Professor of Arabian Plate Geology group


Research Interests

​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.

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
  • Ph.D. 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

  • 2018-present: Professor, ANPERC, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 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 Neotectonics and seismicity