Reconnaissance geology of the Jabal Shaqran Quadrangle, sheet 17/44 B, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Open-File Report 82-610



The Jabal Shaqran quadrangle lies in the southeastern Asir province, mostly within the westernmost part of the Rub al Khali desert, and is largely covered by Quaternary deposits. Proterozoic crystalline rocks are exposed as inselbergs or rock pediment surfaces along the western border of the quadrangle. The crystalline basement is metavolcanic rock intruded by plutonic to hypabyssal rocks consisting of diorite and gabbro, biotite tonalite gneiss, biotite-hornblende monzogranite, biotite-sodic amphibole granite, and syenogranite to quartz syenite, listed in the inferred order of emplacement. Rhyolite-dacite fels, associated with andesitic to basaltic metavolcanic flow rocks and minor amphibolite, is interpreted to have resulted from metasomatic alteration of the flow rocks during emplacement of granitic plutons. The Wajid Sandstone, of Cambrian to Ordovician age, is largely a coarse-grained quartz arenite with pebbly phases; common crossbedds indicate north-northwest to north-northeast directions of sand transport. Beds are cemented by iron oxide, carbonate, and minor quartz. The Wajid Sandstone is exposed only in the northwestern and northern parts of the quadrangle. Quaternary deposits record a climate that became increasingly more arid. They include Holocene and Pleistocene(?) alluvial and fluvial deposits of sand, gravel, and silt, minor carbonate crusts, and eolian sand and silt. Gravel terraces and gravel plains less than 10 m above the present major wadi channels are widespread and commonly are overlain by marly silt along the wadis. Between major wadis, which discharge into the Rub al Khali basin, gravel-topped surfaces are partly covered by a complex of low, sinuous, discontinuous, generally northwest trending transverse sand dunes. Normal to this trend, higher and more extensive linear dunes and dune complexes, including seif (irq) dunes as high as 50 m, have encroached southwestward. The transverse and linear dunes may represent two stages of advance separated by a pluvial cycle. Studies of aerial photographs indicate that the dunes have not changed appreciably in shape or size between 1951 and 1959, although some seif dunes have advanced their leading edges 15 to 25 m. No potentially economic mineral resources other than sand and gravel were found.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Reconnaissance geology of the Jabal Shaqran Quadrangle, sheet 17/44 B, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 82-610
DOI 10.3133/ofr82610
Edition -
Year Published 1982
Language ENGLISH
Description 1 map :photocopy ;56 x 53 cm., on sheet 70 x 78 cm. +1 text (iii, 19 p. ill. ; 28 cm.)