Geochemical orientation for mineral exploration in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Open-File Report 82-791

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This report is a supplement to previous accounts of geochemical exploration conducted in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by the Natural Resources Authority of the Royal Government of Jordan and the U.S. Geological Survey. The field work on which this report is based was sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State. Procedures used in collecting various kinds of rocks, ores, slags, eluvial and alluvial sediments, heavy-mineral concentrates, and organic materials for use as geochemical sample media are summarized, as are the laboratory procedures followed for the analysis of these sample materials by semiquantitative spectrographic, atomic absorption, fluorometric, and X-ray diffraction methods. Geochemical evaluations of the possibilities for economic mineral deposits in certain areas are presented. The results of these preliminary investigations open concepts for further use in geochemical exploration in the search for metallic mineral deposits in Jordan. Perhaps the most desirable new activity would be hydrogeochemical exploration for uranium and base metals, accompanied by interpretation of such remote-sensing data as results of airborne radiometric surveys and computer-enhanced LANDSAT imagery. For more conventional approaches to geochemical exploration, however, several fundamental problems regarding proper choice of geochemical sample media for different geologic and geographic parts of the Country must be solved before effective surveys can be made. The present results also show that such common geochemical exploration techniques as the determination of the trace-element contents of soils, plant ash, and slags have direct application also toward the resolution of several archaeological problems in Jordan. These include the relation of trace-elements chemistry of local soils to the composition of botanic remains, the trace-elements composition of slags to the technological development of the extractive metallurgy of copper and iron in the region, and the use of charcoal from slags for the C-14 dating of periods of archaeometallurgical activity. Less directly, interpretations based on the distribution in time and space of the archaeometallurgical activities of the region might add to the knowledge of early climatic conditions and vegetative cover of the area.

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Geochemical orientation for mineral exploration in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
viii, 255 p., ill., map ;28 cm.