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Reconnaissance geology of the Sabkhat Muraysis quadrangle, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

January 1, 1972

The Sabkhat Muraysis quadrangle .covers an area of 2843 sq km in the central part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the northwestern quarter of the area Precambrian rocks are exposed. They are overlain toward the .south and east by sedimentary formations of Permian and younger age.

Four main units of Precambrian .rocks were identified in this area. From oldest to youngest they are: hornblende-biotite granite gneiss; amphibolite and rhyolite of the Halaban Group; graywacke and chlorite-sericite schist of the Bi'r Khountina Group; and biotite-hornblende granite,

The hornblende-biotite granite gneiss unit and the biotite-hornblende granite .unit are both poorly exposed and largely covered by veneers of sand, Owing to these factors the boundaries between the granitic, rocks are obscure, Much of what is shown as hornblende-biotite granite gneiss may actually be biotite-hornblende granite. The Halaban Group is represented by an older amphibolite unit called the Umm Mushraha Formation and by a younger rhyolite unit., called the Wadi al Jifr Formation. Layered and msslve components in the Umm Mushraha Formation represent metamorphosed .andesite and graywacke, ,and metamorphosed diorite., gabbro, and pyroxenite. The Wadi al Jifr Formation consists of virtually unmetamorphosed to strongly sheared and metamorphosed rhyolite, rhyolite porphyry, and rhyolite tuff which at many places has been metamorphosed to quartz-sericite schist and biotite-muscovite schist. These schists retain porphyroclasts of blue quartz which also form conspicuous phenocrysts in the unsheared rhyolite. Locally, the sheared rhyolite ha s been hydrothermally altered resulting in the formation of quartz-chlorite-ankerite veins and a sparse impregnation of pyrite.

The Bi'r Khountina Group consists of a unit of graywacke and argillite with interbedded andesite that is metamorphosed to chlorite-sericite schist near the contacts of intrusive biottte-hornblende granite. This .unit is-called the Abu Sawarir Formation. It is Intruded by masslve gabbro and pyroxenite.

No ancient mines or old prospects were found in the Precambrian part of the quadrangle. Three alteration zones in rhyolite near the northwestern corner of the quadrangle tend to have threshold amounts of molybdenum and tungsten, but they have only background amounts of the base metals and silver. Pyrite is more common in the altered rhyolite than in adjacent rocks. Geological mapping plus and electromagnetic surveys of this area are recommended to explore for sulfide minerals.

Publication Year 1972
Title Reconnaissance geology of the Sabkhat Muraysis quadrangle, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
DOI 10.3133/ofr72282
Authors William C. Overstreet, Jesse William Whitlow, Abdullah O. Ankayr
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 72-282
Index ID ofr72282
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse