Biostratigraphy and paleogeography of the southeast desert phosphorites of Jordan

  • Belal S. Amireh
  • Joerg Mutterlose
  • Mazen N. Amaireh
  • Tobias Puettmann
  • Abdulkader M. AbedEmail author
Original Paper


Three sections from the Al-Hisa Phosphorite Formation (AHP) were measured in the southeastern desert of Jordan: Batn El-Ghoul, Nagb Etayyeg, and Zgaimat Al-Hasah. A fourth section, Wadi Arfa, is added from a previous work. The three sections differ from the typical AHP Formation in central Jordan by having highly reduced thicknesses, omission/non-deposition of the underlying formations, rarity of fossils, abundant sand, and their stratigraphic ages. A Paleocene-Early Eocene age, based on calcareous nannofossils, has been assigned to the AHP Formation of the sections studied in the southeast desert. This Paleocene-Early Eocene age is younger than the Early Maastrichtian age of the AHP deposits in central Jordan. The published ages of the phosphorite deposits in the eastern Mediterranean countries suggest a younging to the east due to an interplay between paleodepositional environments and plate tectonics (paleohigh formation). The minor phosphorite deposits of Turkey and Iran are not involved in the discussion because they were not part of the Afro-Arabian Plate or the later Arabian Plate. The abovementioned differences between the southeastern desert phosphorites and the central Jordan deposits are here explained by the formation of paleohighs on the Neo-Tethys seafloor during the Late Cretaceous-Eocene. These include the Sirhan Paleohigh where the southeast desert phosphorites were deposited. The formation of the highs was due to the compression associated first, with the subduction of the Afro-Arabian Plate, below the Eurasian Plate and later with their collision.


Tethyan phosphorite Diachronous ages Jordan SE desert Sirhan Paleohigh 



We would like to thank the Deanship of Scientific Research, the University of Jordan, for partially supporting this work. Thanks are also due to Miss Saja Abu Taha for technical support. The authors are greatly thankful for the two reviewers of the AJGS for their valuable comments which have improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belal S. Amireh
    • 1
  • Joerg Mutterlose
    • 2
  • Mazen N. Amaireh
    • 3
  • Tobias Puettmann
    • 2
  • Abdulkader M. Abed
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of GeologyThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Institut für GeologieMineralogie und GeophysikBochumGermany
  3. 3.Department of Mining EngineeringTafila Technical UniversityTafilaJordan

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