Characterization and Origin of the Miocene Mudawwara-Quwayra Basaltic Dike, Southern Jordan


Petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical investigations were carried out on representative samples from the Mudawwara-Quwayra Dike (MQD) in southernJordan. The MQD intruded Paleozoic and Cretaceous rocks as sub-vertical basaltic plugs, striking NW-SE along a fault zone and extending for more than 100 km. The MQD forms irregularly positive features, and is represented by symmetrical, elliptical, elongated or circular hills. It comprises thin basaltic layers intercalated with pyroclastics and inclusions of different size and lithology, including limestone, sandstone, phosphate, quartzite, and marble. Petrographically, the rock exhibits phyric, porphyritic, vitrophyric and locally glomerophyritic textures manifested by plagioclase, clinopyroxene and rare olivine and set in a matrix of plagioclase, pyroxene, brown glass and opaque phases. Clinopyroxene and olivine phenocyrsts show disequilibrium textures such as reaction/resorbed rims in the forms of corroded ends. The paragenetic sequence shows that olivine is the first phase to be crystallized and coexisting with pyroxene at sometime, while pyroxene continues crystallization. Plagioclase might have crystallized in contemporaneous later than the pyroxene. The MQD rocks are classified as basalt and exhibit a narrow range of silica with a unique subalkaline affinity. This is most probably attributed to assimilation of the abundant siliciclastic inclusions by the ascending magma. Emplacement of the MQD is attributed to regional phase of magmatism in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which is probably the peripheral extension of a large magmatic event widely exposed in the Red Sea realm.

Share and Cite:

Alnawafleh, H. , Tarawneh, K. , Ibrahim, K. , Zghoul, K. , Titi, A. , Rawashdeh, R. , Moumani, K. and Masri, A. (2015) Characterization and Origin of the Miocene Mudawwara-Quwayra Basaltic Dike, Southern Jordan. International Journal of Geosciences, 6, 869-881. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2015.68071.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Tarawneh, K. (1999) Geological Map of Wadi Al Abid Area (Map Sheet No. 3454-I). National 1:50,000 Mapping Project, NRA, Geol. Dir., Map. Div., Amman.
[2] Tarawneh, K. (2000) The Geology of Wadi Al Abid Area (Map Sheet No. 3454I). Scale 1:50,000. NRA, Geol. Dir., Map. Div., Bulletin, Vol. 44, 39 p.
[3] Tarawneh, K., Ibrahim, K. and Rabba, I. (2002) Petrography, Geochemistry and K-Ar Geochronology of the Dike Systems NW-SE of the Harrat Ash Shaam in NE Jordan. Mutah Lil Buhuth wad Dirasat. Natural and Applied Series, 17, 69-87.
[4] Ibrahim, K., Tarawneh, K. and Rabba, I. (2003) Phases of Activity and Geochemistry of Basaltic Dike Systems in Northeast Jordan Parallel to the Red Sea. Journal of Asian Earth Science, 21, 467-472.
[5] Camp, V.E. and Rooble, M.J. (1992) Upwelling Asthenosphere beneath Western Arabia and Its Regional Implications. Journal of Geophysical Research, 97, 15 p.
[6] Camp, V.E., Rooble, M.J. and Hooper, P.R. (1991) The Arabian Continental Alkali Basalt Province: Part II. Evolution of Harrats Khaybar, Ithnayn, and Kura, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 103, 363-391.<0363:TACABP>2.3.CO;2
[7] Coleman, R.C. (1993) Geologic Evolution of the Red Sea, Oxford Monograph Geological Geophysics. Oxford University Press, New York, Vol. 24, 186.
[8] Guba, I. and Mustafa, H. (1988) Structural Control of Young Basaltic Fissure Eruptions in the Plateau Basalt Area of the Arabian Plate, NE Jordan. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 35, 319-334.
[9] Ibrahim, K. (1993) The Geological Framework for the Harrat Ash Shaam Basaltic Super-Group and Its Volcanic Evolution. NRA, Geological Directorate, Mapping Division, Bulletin, Vol. 25, 33 p.
[10] Ibrahim, K., Shaw, J., Baker, J., Khouri, H., Rabba, I. and Tarawneh, K. (2006) Pliocene-Pleistocene Volcanism in North-Western Arabian Plate (Jordan): I. Geology and Geochemistry of the Asfar Volcanic Group. Journal of Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie, 2-3, 145-170.
[11] Ilani, S., Harlavan, Y., Tarawneh, K., Rabba, I., Weinberger, R., Ibrahim, K., Peltz, S. and Steinitz, G. (2001) New K-Ar Ages of Basalts from the Harrat Ash Shaam Volcanic Field in Jordan: Implications for the Span and Duration of the Upper Mantle Upwelling beneath the Western Arabian Plate. Geology, 29, 171-174.<0171:NKAAOB>2.0.CO;2
[12] Moffat, D.T. (1989) A Volcanotectonic Analysis of the Cenozoic Continental Basalts of Northern Jordan; Implications for Hydrocarbon Prospecting in the Block B Area. ERI Jordan EJ88-1, 73 p. Nasir, S. and Al Fuqha, H. (1988) Spinel-Lherzolite Xenoliths from Aritayn Volcano, NE Jordan. Mineralogy and Petrography, 38, 127-143.
[13] Sebai, A., Zumbo, V., Feraud, G., Bertrand, H., Hussain, A., Giannerini, G. and Camperdon, R. (1991) 40Ar/39Ar Dating of Alkaline and Tholeiitic Magmatism of Saudi Arabia Related to the Early Red Sea Rifting. Earth and Planetary Letters, 104, 473-487.
[14] Krienitz, M.S., Haase, K.M., Mezger, K., van den Bogaard, P., Thiemann, V. and Shaikh-Mashail, M.A. (2009) Tectonic Events, Continental Intraplate Volcanism, and Mantle Plume Activity in Northern Arabia: Constraints from Geochemistry and Ar-Ar Dating of Syrian Lavas. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 10, No. 4.
[15] Shallaly, N.A., Beier, C., Haase, K.M. and Hammed, M.S. (2013) Petrology and Geochemistry of the Tertiary Suez Rift Volcanism, Sinai, Egypt. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 267, 119-137.
[16] Barberi, F., Capaldi, G., Gasperini, P., Marinelli, G., Santacroce, R., Scandone, R., Treuil, M. and Varet, J. (1979) Recent Basaltic Volcanism of Jordan and Its Implications on the Geodynamic Evolution of the Afro-Arabian Rift System. Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei, Atti Del Corvegni Lincei, Rome, 47, 667-683.
[17] Ibrahim, K.M., Tarawneh, K. and Rabba’, I. (2003) Phases of Activity and Geochemistry of Basaltic Dike Systems in Northeast Jordan Parallel to the Red Sea. Journal of Asian Earth Science, 21, 467-472.
[18] Steinitz, G., Baratov, Y. and Hunziker, J.C. (1978) K-Ar Age Determinations of Some Miocene-Pliocene Basalts in Israel: Their Significance to the Tectonics of the Rift Valley. Geological Magazine, 115, 329-340.
[19] Hempton, M. (1987) Constraints on the Arabian Plate Motion and Extensional History of the Red Sea. Tectonics, 6, 687-705.
[20] Abu Lihie, O. (1988) Geological Map of Jabal Ladghayn-Dubaydib Area. Map Sheet No. 3148 II-3148I. National 1:50,000 Mapping Project, Natural Resources Authority, Geology Directorate, Mapping Division, Amman.
[21] Abed, A., Khoury, H. and Kruhl, H. (1985) On the Structure of Jabal Aritain Volcano (NE Jordan) and Petrology of Some Xenoliths. Dirasat, 12, 109-124.
[22] Al-Malabeh, A. (1993) The Volcanology, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry of Selected Pyroclastic Cones from NE Jordan and Their Evaluation for Possible Industrial Applications. PhD Thesis, Universitat Erlangen, Nurnberg, 300 p.
[23] Nasir, S. and Al Fugha, H. (1988) Spinal Iherzolite Xenoliths from the Aritain Volcano. NE Jordan. Mineral and Petrology, 39, 127-137.
[24] Kystol, J. and Larsen, L.M. (1999) Analytical Procedures in the Rock Geochemical Laboratory of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Geology of Greenland Survey Bulletin, 184, 56-62.
[25] Le Bas, M.J., Le Maitre, R.W., Streckeisen, A. and Zanettin, B. (1986) A Chemical Classification of Volcanic Rocks Based on the Total Alkalis-Silica Diagram. Journal of Petrology, 27, 745-750.
[26] MacDonald, G.A. (1986) Composition and Origin of Hawaiian Lavas. Meeting of Geological Society of America, 116, 477-522.
[27] Baker, J.A., Menzies, M.A., Thirlwall, M.F. and Macpherson, C.G. (1997) Petrogenesis of Quaternary Interpolate Volcanism, Sana’a, Yemen: Implication for Plume-Lithosphere Interaction and Polybaric Melt Hybridization. Journal of Petrology, 38, 1359-1390.
[28] Saffarini, G., Nasir, S. and Abed, A. (1985) A Contribution on the Geochemistry of Quaternary Basalts in Central Jordan. Dirasat, 7, 133-143.
[29] Shaw, J. (2003) Geochemistry of Cenozoic Volcanism and Arabian Lithospheric Mantle in Jordan. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of London, London.
[30] Wilson, M. (1989) Igneous Petrogenesis. A Global Tectonic Approach. Unwin Hyman, London, 466.
[31] Sun, S., and Mcdonough, W. (1989) Chemical and Isotopic Systematic of Oceanic Basalts: Implications for Mantel Composition and Processes. In: Saunders, A. and Norry, M., Eds., Magmatism in the Ocean Basins, Special Publication of geological Society of London, 42, 313-345.
[32] Bender, F. (1968) Geolgie von Jordanian. Beitrage zur regionlen Geologie der Erde. Borntrager, Berlin-Stuttgart, 230 p.
[33] Bender, F. (1974) Geology of Jordan. Borntraeger, Berlin, 196 p.
[34] Baldridge, W.S., Eyal, Y., Bartov, Y., Steinitz, G. and Eyal, M. (1991) Miocene Magmatism of Sinai Related to the Opening of the Red Sea. Tectonophysics, 197, 181-201.
[35] Burke, K. (1996) The African Plate. South African Journal of Geology, 99, 341-409.
[36] Chazot, G., Menzies, M.A. and Baker, J. (1998) Chapter B2: Pre-, Syn-, and Post-Rift Volcanism on the Southwestern Margin of the Arabian Plate. In: Purser, B.H. and Bosence, D.W.J., Eds., Sedimentation and Tectonics of Rift Basins: Red Sea-Gulf of Aden, Chapman & Hall, London, 50-56.
[37] Feraud, G., Zumbo, V. and Sebai, A. (1991) 40Ar/39Ar and Duration of Tholeiitic Magmatism Related to the Early Opening of the Red Sea Rift. Geophysical Research Letters, 18, 195-198.
[38] Shaw, J., Baker, J., Menzies, M., Thirlwall, M. and Ibrahim, K. (2003) Petrogenesis of Largest Interpolate Volcanic Field on the Arabian Plate (Jordan): A Mixed Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Source Activated by Lithospheric Extension. Journal of Petrology, 44, 1657-1679.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.