Abdulkader M. Afifi, PhD

Principal Investigator

Professor, Energy Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering



Building 5W Room 3219

Research Interests

Geology of the Arabian Plate and the Red Sea, Structure and tectonics, Carbon disposal, Geothermal energy, Petroleum geology.

Selected Publications

Duarte, Carlos M., et al. "Discovery of Afifi, the shallowest and southernmost brine pool reported in the Red Sea." Scientific Reports 10.1 (2020): 1-17.

Kenkmann, T., Afifi, A. M., Stewart, S. A., Poelchau, M. H., Cook, D. J. and Neville, A. S. (2015), Saqqar: A 34 km diameter impact structure in Saudi Arabia. Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12555

Neville, A.S, Cook, D.J., Afifi, A.M., and Stewart, S.A., 2014, Five buried crater structures imaged on reflection seismic data in Saudi Arabia: GeoArabia, v. 19, p. 17-44.

Tubbs, R.E., Aly Fouda, H. G., Afifi, A.M., Raterman, N.S., Hughes, G.W., and Fadolalkarem, Y.K., 2014, Midyan Peninsula, northern Red Sea, Saudi Arabia: Seismic imaging and regional interpretation, GeoArabia, v. 19, p. 165-184.

Faqira, M., Rademakers, M., and Afifi, A., 2009: New Insights into the Hercynian Orogeny, and their implications for the Paleozoic hydrocarbon system in the Arabian plate: GeoArabia, v. 14, p. 199-228.

Konert, G., Afifi, A.M., Al-Hajri, S.A., and Droste, H., 2001, Paleozoic stratigraphy and hydrocarbon habitat of the Arabian Plate: GeoArabia, V. 6, No. 3, p. 407-442. 


  • 1990 - PhD in Geology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. 
  • 1981 - MS in Geology, Colorado School of Mine, USA.
  • 1977 - BS in Geology (high honors), King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, KSA. 

Professional Profile

Abdulkader M. Afifi is a Professor of geology at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.  He leads the Arabian Plate Geology (APG) research group focused on the geology and natural resources of Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea.  Previously, he worked in Saudi Aramco’s Exploration Organization from 1991 until 2017 where he held various technical and management roles in exploration, reservoir characterization, and upstream joint ventures.  He also served on a team to implement the Kingdom’s gas initiative.  He started his career in 1980 with the US Geological Survey Mission in Saudi Arabia and did geological mapping and mineral exploration in the Arabian Shield, particularly the Mahd Adh Dhahab gold mine.   Abdulkader has a PhD in geology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Masters from the Colorado School of Mines, and a Bachelors (high honors) from KFUPM.  He also completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.  He is active in professional societies as an author, lecturer, conference organizer, and field trip leader.  He served for two decades as an associate editor of the journal GeoArabia. He served the American Association of Petroleum Geologists as an International Distinguished Lecturer, Councilor, and President of the Middle East Region.  He also served on various committees including the Executive Committee of the Saudi Geological Survey, Alumni Advisory Board of the University of Michigan’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Department and the Advisory Committee of the Geohazards Research Center at King Abdul Aziz University.  


AAPG Distinguished service award.