An overview of the geology and evolution of Wadi Mujib

Abdulkader M. Abed
Department of Geology, the University of Jordan, Amman 11942 Jordan

AbstractThe rock units exposed in Wadi Mujib range in age from the Late Cambrian Umm Ishrin Formation (~ 500 million year (Ma)) ago, to Recent (Holocene). They represent a good percentage of the geological history of the country. The lower part of the geological column consists of about 600 m of sandstones (Umm Ishrin Formation and the Kurnub Group), while its upper part is dominated by about 700 m of carbonates, bedded chert and phosphorite.Volcanic rocks, 6 Ma old, are present on the southern side of the wadi. Tectonically, the Mujib is bordered from the west by the Dead Sea Transform fault (DST), a plate boundary separating the Arabian Plate, representing here by Jordan, from the small Sinai-Palestine Plate. Jordan moves to the NNE relative to Palestine along this DST 4-5 mm/y, with a total displacement of Jordan the middle Miocene, of 107 km. The DST system caused the formation of the Dead Sea basin and its subsequent subsidence as well as the continuous uplift of the mountains on both sides of it. Both subsidence and uplift are still ongoing. Other major fault is the Sewaga faults, an E-W fault with a small dextral strike-slip movement along them, where the Shihan volcanics are associated with it. Wadi Mujib had started initiation by running water at 5-4 Ma ago along the fractured, E-W axial plane of Mujib anticline. Rate of erosion of the wadi ranges between 0.1-0.23 mm/y. The Mujib deepening is still ongoing because of the ongoing lowering of the Dead Sea basin and uplift of its area.

Keywords: Wadi Mujib, Stratigraphy, Evolution history, Formation age

Jordan Journal of Natural History, 4, (2017),  6-28.

Other articles published in the same issue: Jordan Journal of Natural History, vol.4, iss. 4.

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