Geochemistry of the middle-upper Miocene Bathan Formation, Al-Rehaili area, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: provenance, tectonic setting, and paleoweathering implications

  • Ibrahim M. GhandourEmail author
  • Rabea A. Haredy
Original Paper


The present work investigates geochemical and mineralogical signatures preserved in the fluvio-lacustrine sediments of the middle-upper Miocene Bathan Formation at Al-Rehaili area, northern Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to constrain the composition and tectonic setting of the source area and to appraise the influence of weathering. Sixteen sediment samples were collected from the lacustrine delta plain and delta front sandstones (SS I), lacustrine offshore mudrocks, and the younger fluvial channel sandstones (SS II). The sandstones are compositionally immature first cycle. The sandstones (SS I) and the mudrocks of the first depositional stage were derived from an intermediate igneous source rock, whereas the sandstones (SS II) of the second depositional stage were derived mainly from a felsic igneous source rock with subordinate contribution from an intermediate igneous source rock. They indicate an active continental margin to oceanic arc tectonic setting. The values of the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) and the Plagioclase Index of Alteration (PIA) as well as the Al2O3/Na2O, Rb/Sr, and Al2O3/(CaO+Na2O) ratios indicate that the source rocks experienced low to moderate degree of weathering consistent with arid to semi-arid climate that prevailed during the Miocene. Subaerially exposed lacustrine offshore mudrocks displayed excessive depletion in the concentration of mobile elements comparing to the bedrock. The low values of the paleoweathering indices are further explained by the enhanced uplift of the Red Sea Escarpment after the cessation of the first stage of the Red Sea floor spreading at 14–15 m.y. ago.


Bathan Formation geochemistry Provenance Tectonic setting Paleoweathering Red Sea syn-rift deposits 



This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant No. (150-814-D1435). The authors, therefore, gratefully acknowledge the DSR technical and financial support. The authors are very grateful for the editor and reviewers for their constructive comments and editorial handling.

Funding information

Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant No. (150-814-D1435).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Geology Department, Faculty of Marine ScienceKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

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