Preliminary geologic map of the Al Jawf Quadrangle, sheet 29D, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Open-File Report 89-342

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The Al Jawf quadrangle (Sheet 29 D) lies in the northwestern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia about 900 km north of Jeddah. The quadrangle is located between lat 29°00'-30°00' N. and long 39°00'-40°30' E. It includes the southeastern rim of the Sirhan-Turayf basin, and is underlain by sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic to Cenozoic age. More than half of the quadrangle is covered by surficial deposits.

The Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks of the map area were deposited under both marine and continental conditions. Marine deposits, produced by transgressions and regressions of the sea, are of outershelf to near-shore and coastal-lagoon origin, and the continental deposits are largely of fluvial and deltaic origin. Part of the Miocene-Pliocene rocks are believed to have been deposited in a lacustrine environment.

Tensional structures, such as linear macro joints, grabens, block-faulting, and some folding are characteristic of the geology of the map area, and reflect a combination of Red Sea rifting and movement of the Hail Arch.

This report introduces a new structural concept that extends the Wadi as Sirhan graben complex southeastward in the Al Jawf quadrangle into the An Nafud (Great Desert). This concept greatly increases the area of interest in the potentially oil-and-gas-bearing rocks of the Wadi as Sirhan region to include those of the An Nafud basin.

Discovery of the largest specimen of Prototaxites sp. in the world, in the Al Jubah area of the northeastern part of the quadrangle, has helped solve a long-standing stratigraphic problem involving Devonian and Cretaceous rocks of the southeastern part of the Sirhan-Turayf basin.

Phosphorite, a commodity of major economic interest in the Sirhan-Turayf basin, is exposed in the map area along escarpments that form the southeastern rim of the basin. The grade of the phosphorite is as much as 21 percent P2O5, but the beds are thin and lenticular.    

Study Area

Additional publication details

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USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary geologic map of the Al Jawf Quadrangle, sheet 29D, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title:
Open-File Report
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Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Report: iii, 42 p., ill.; maps: 28 cm.
Saudi Arabia
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