Investigating aeolian processes and landscape relationships of the Al-Azraq Basin, Jordan using grain size, x-ray diffraction, and IRSL

Authors: Kaleena Salazar, University of Missouri Kansas City, Hunt Ashley, University of Missouri Kansas City, Ryan Thomas, 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: dunes, paleoenvironment, aeolian, Al-Azraq Oasis, Jordan
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Al-Azraq Basin is the second largest basin in the Jordan plateau and a critically important hydrologic resource. It is an endorheic or closed-basin draining the Jordan Plateau east of the Rift Valley highlands of eastern Jordan and southern Syria. The present surface of the Al-Azraq basin is modern alluvial and aeolian inputs mixed with deflated and eroded older sediments and carbonates. Previous research demonstrated the very near surface sediment of the Al-Azraq paleolake to be early Holocene in age and the sediments of the massive red dune field along the eastern margin of the playa or qa to be late Holocene in age. This research will characterize the East Dune (ED2) sediments and address their relationship to the qa sediments with particular focus on missing Holocene sediments. The East Dune (ED2) trench extended 12 meters above the present qa surface and to a depth of 1m. An additional deep sounding was excavated to 4.5m below the dune surface. Sediments were dark reddish, very moist and compact at the base. Smear slides identify subhedral quartz, a spike in feldspar at 100 cm, mica, and heavy minerals. Clay minerals are present and appear green in color. Grains of secondary gypsum also appear confirming the presence of evaporative episodes. The IRSL ages of the carbonate cemented silts and sands reveal very late Holocene ages.

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