Assessing the landscape relationship between dunes and spring deposits of the Al-Azraq Basin, Jordan using grain size, x-ray diffraction, and geochemistry

Authors: Mikeelie Martin*, University of Missouri-Kansas City , Carly Beck, University of Missouri-Kansas City , Emma Schillinger, University of Missouri-Kansas City , Khaldoun Ahmad*, University of Missouri-Kansas City , Caroline Davies, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Geomorphology, Physical Geography
Keywords: paleohydrology, dunes, spring deposits, aeolian, Al-Azraq Basin, Jordan
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Al-Azraq Basin of eastern Jordan is a closed-basin hosting a wide range of paleohydrologic features including a central playa or qa, multiple aeolian structures, and spring deposits. The aquifer underlying the Qa Al-Azraq is the main source of water for the cities of Amman and Zarqa, home to greater than half of Jordan’s population. At the northeastern margin of the Qa Al-Arzaq a dune field, located at 37 0301079E/ 35 26637N, was exposed along a four-meter north-south trench. The dune sediments are white in color, different from all other dunes within the basin. A 2.30m stratigraphic section (ED3) was described and sampled. This project examines the relationship between the white dunes and the adjacent spring deposits through multiple proxy methods of analysis including: particle size, X-ray diffraction, and isotope geochemistry. Smear slides of the dune sediments reveal a mix of weathering and evaporite minerals including: euhedral quartz, feldspar, calcite, and gypsum. The particle size appears to coarsen in cycles upwards through the dune. X-ray diffraction reveals the presence of calcite, quartz, albite, gypsum, and clay minerals, possibly chlorite. The highest diffractogram peak was consistently calcite. In close proximity to the northern white dunes are two spring deposits (SP1 and SP2), located at 37 0301079E/ 35 26635N and 37 0301288E/ 35 26601N, respectively. They are approximately two hundred meters east of the northern white dune field, forming what appears to be a remnant terrace along the wadi edge.

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