Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Geomorphology, Geology and Tectonics of Jabal Sanam, Southern Iraq

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  • Abstract

    Jabal Sanam is an outstanding geomorphological feature in south of Iraq located 50 Km southwest of Basrah city; along the border with Kuwait. It stands high in a vast flat plain with elevation of 140. 61 m (a.s.l.). The relief difference between the highest point; on top of Jabal Sanam and the surrounding flat plain ranges from (108 127) m. The E W and N- S diameters of Jabal Sanam are 355.97 m and 489.45 m, respectively, whereas, the E W and N S diameters of the surrounding first circular rim are 1524.11 m and1857.90 m, respectively. The exposed rocks in the surroundings belong to the Dibdibba Formation (Pliocene  Pleistocene); show clear Hogback and Cuesta forms. The rocks of the Nfayil Formation (Middle Miocene) are exposed in the near surroundings of the intruded body; they are crushed, deformed and faulted. All the exposed rocks along the rims show clear dipping towards the outer rim forming dome like structure. Beds of gypsum and black dolomite are also exposed in the central part of the dome, most probably intruded from deep lying beds. Other crushed rocks; some of them are igneous are also present, especially in the central part of the intruded body. The estimated age of those crushed rocks is Infra-Cambrian, as indicated from pollen and spores found in coal seams within the exposed sequence. The presence circular rims surrounding Jabal Sanam may indicate multi rising processes of the exposed sequence of the intruded body. All the previous works confirm the origin to be a salt plug; using gravity data. However, the current study hasused evidences of Neotectonic activity to support the salt plug assumption too.

    Keywords: Jabal Sanam, Salt diaper, Harmuz Salt, Isolated hill, Iraq.