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Article
STRONTIUM CONTENT AND Na/Ca RATIO IN RECENT MOLLUSK SHELLS AS SALINITY INDICATORS IN FLUVIAL WATER SYSTEMS

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2005 Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Pages: 15-34
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

Mollusk shells of C. (Corbicula) fluminalis (MULLER) and Unio tigridis (BOURGUIGNAT) were collected from 14 sites along the Euphrates River from Kerabla to Nassirriyah. The shells were analysed for their Sr, Ca and Na contents and examined by XRD for mineral composition.The results were compared to the water main constituents of cations and anions as well as the total dissolved salts (TDS) reported in water samples collected from the same sites and in the same year. The results show that Sr and Na concentrations as well as Na/ Ca ratio are directly correlated with the TDS of the water and also with the water content of dissolved Na+, Ca2+, SO42- and Cl-.The nature of Sr and Na presence in these aragonite shells is believed to be in substitution for Ca in the aragonite structure. The Sr and Na contents of the Recent shells in the present study is much higher than that reported in ancient limestones. Strontium and sodium may be expelled and remobilized when aragonite alters to calcite during diagenesis.

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Article
MINERALOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY OF THE HUSSAINIYAT KARST BAUXITES AND ZABIRA STRATIFORM BAUXITE IN NORTHERN ARABIAN PENINSULA

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2005 Volume: 1 Issue: 2 Pages: 15-44
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

Two early Cretaceous bauxite deposits in Northern Arabian Peninsula are studied in this paper; the Zabira sratiform deposits and the Hussainiyat karst deposits. The textural constituents are similar in both deposits; colloform grains (pisoids and ooids) are dominant, but they are better developed in the stratiform bauxite suggesting higher maturation. Boehmite and gibbsite are the only bauxite minerals; the former is dominant in the karst bauxite whereas the latter is dominant in the stratiform bauxite. Various amounts of kaolinite are retained in these bauxites. Hematite and anatase are accessary minerals. The former is more enriched in the stratiform bauxite; inherited from source rocks. Compared to source rocks, Fe, Ni and to some extent Co were depleted during bauxitization in both types of bauxite deposits, whereas Ga and Zr were enriched together with Al. Uranium was depleted in the stratiform bauxites and enriched in the karst bauxite relative to source rocks, whereas Cr behaved oppositely; both elements are controlled by oxidation potential during bauxitiztion. The hidden karst bauxites have suffered less diagenetic and epigenetic modifications relative to the exposed stratiform bauxites. Resilication is one of the diagenetic modifications found in the stratiform deposits only. Epigenetic calcite, alunite and gypsum were introduced later in both deposits under arid climate.

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Article
SWAB PHOSPHORITE DEPOSIT A GIANT DISCOVERY IN THE WESTERN DESERT, IRAQ

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2007 Volume: 3 Issue: 1 Pages: 25-40
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

Swab phosphorite deposit was discovered in 1986 in the Western Desert of Iraq. It is of Paleocene age and belongs to the Akashat Formation. The industrial phosphorite consists of (9  16) m thick bed of fine sand - size well sorted phosphate peloids and coated grains with calcite cement , occasionally rich in organic matter . The average P2O5 grade is about 22% and the average stripping ratio is about 3. The overburden consists of Paleocene and Eocene carbonate rocks. The strata are gently dipping towards north with little structural deformation. The new deposit, with its 3.5 billion tons of reserves, puts Iraq among the leading countries in proved phosphorite reserves.

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Article
URANIUM IN THE IRAQI PHOSPHORITES

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2007 Volume: 3 Issue: 2 Pages: 13-31
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

The radioactivity of the marine sedimentary phosphorites of Iraq is investigated and found to be due to uranium. The Late Cretaceous – Early Tertiary phosphorite deposits are generally poor in uranium relative to other Tethyan deposits; they generally contain (20 – 50) ppm U and up to 100 ppm U in the francolite concentrates. Strong positive correlation exists between uranium with P2O5 and F. Most of uranium is believed to be present in the francolite structure as U4+ substituting for Ca2+. Uranium in the Iraqi phosphorties seems to be generally in equilibrium with its daughter products with minor scattering around the equilibrium line. Secondary uranium minerals are found as metatyuyamunite in phosphorite and limestone, and as carnotite in shale. It seems that the source of uranium is terrigenous, supplied by U-rich sandstones of older rock units and transported by rivers to shallow marine environments. Geochemical affinity of U towards phosphates and reducing conditions facilitated uranium incorporation in the francolite structure in the early stages of crystallization. The radioactivity of phosphorties provides excellent tool for surface and subsurface prospecting and exploration. But, the presence of uranium in the phosphate fertilizers represents an environmental hazard.

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Article
MINERAL RESOURCES

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2007 Volume: SPECIAL ISSUE Issue: 1 Pages: 145-168
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

The Iraqi Western Desert is rich in mineral deposits and industrial rocks. Important deposits were identified including phosphorite, kaolinitic claystone, montmorillonite –palygorskite claystone, quartz-sand, bauxite, flint clay, porcelanite, uranium, ironstone, heavy minerals sandstone, feldspathic sandstone, limestone and dolostone. Most of these deposits are restricted in occurrence to the Western Desert. All of these mineral deposits and industrial rocks are sedimentary in origin including marine and continental deposits. They range in age from Permocarboniferous to Pleistocene, occurring mostly as bedded stratiform deposits with some exceptions such as karst bauxites and flint clays. The formation of the mineral deposits and industrial rocks in the Western Desert was controlled by paleogeographic and climatic factors. Tectonic and structural factors were important in some cases. The type, specifications and reserves of these mineral deposits provide a very promising potential for future development of this region.

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Article
PETROLOGY, GEOCHEMISTRY AND DEPOSITIONAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE KHABOUR FORMATION IN ORA AND KHABOUR LOCALITIES, NORTHERN IRAQ

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2010 Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Pages: 71-94
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

The Khabour Formation, the oldest exposed rock unit in Iraq (Ordovician), was sampled in two exposed sections at Ora and Khabour localities. It is comprised of about 800 m thick sandstone-shale cyclic alternations. Petrographic study showed that quartz arenite and phyllarenite are the main textural varieties of the sandstone with mica and silt-size quartz dominating the shale. The sandstones are texturally mature and mineralogically mature to submature. The mineralogy includes: quartz (dominant), muscovite, illite, glauconite, chlorite/serpentine (mixed layer), francolite (conodont) and heavy minerals (opaques and ZTR). Silica cementation is the main diagenetic process, resulted from pressure solution of silica and lead to an interlocking quartz mosaic texture. Alteration is of minor intensity. The chemical composition is characterized by high SiO2/Al2O3 and K2O/Na2O ratios. The geochemical associations are controlled by the mineralogy and three groups were recognized by factor analysis, namely the sheet alumino-silicates, phosphate and heavy minerals (ZTR). All of which are diluents to the major mineral constituent: quartz. Mineralogical analysis of the studied samples suggests recycled granitic plutonic rocks and more proximal low-grade metamorphic rocks as source of the clastics. The whole sequence of the Khabour Formation seems to have deposited in marine environment extending from shallow intertidal to deep outer shelf, under variable conditions of sea-level fluctuation, subsidence rate, and detritus supply. The whole sequence may have resulted from deposition from turbidity currents; the proximal part is rich in coarse clastics and the distal part is rich in micaceous shale. Complete Bouma sequence was not recognized, but the sedimentary facies of the Khabour Formation may be considered as an example of a passive plate margin turbidities.

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Article
PETROLOGY AND CHEMISTRY OF SOME EXOTIC ROCK FRAGMENTS FROM JABAL SANAM, BASRAH, IRAQ

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2011 Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Pages: 39-53
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

Petrologic and chemical analyses of 16 exotic rock samples collected from Sanam salt plug in southern Iraq showed igneous and sedimentary rocks of various types and origins. Highly magnesian igneous rock samples with forsterite composition of (Fo 90 – 92) mole% are the only igneous rock type found in this study. They are highly serpentinized and the alteration minerals are antigorite and talc. This is a mantle-derived subvolcanic rock, fragmented and brought to surface with the rising salt diapir. Dark gray dolomite with possible stromatolitic structures is one of the common rock types at the Sanam plug. It is fine crystalline and partly silicified. It was probably precipitated in reducing environment on the flanks of the salt basin. Some pure recrystallized calcitic limestones were also recognized and seem to be of chemogenic origin; as parts of vein fillings. Shale, with illite, as dominant clay mineral, and quartz with minor kaolinite and montmorillonite may represent ancient fluvial deposits. One sample was identified as silicified ferruginous mudstone with peculiar mineral composition of orthoclase, quartz, illite, hematite, goethite, gypsum and jarosite. The origin of this rock may be volcanic and include initial mud rich in feldspar, which was indurated and altered by microbial Fe precipitation and enrichment via colloidal state, gypsum cement was introduced later and silicification followed.

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Article
POTASH RESOURCE POTENTIAL IN ALBU-GHARIS SALTERN, WESTERN IRAQ

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2012 Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-17
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

An exploration survey has been carried out in Albu-Gharis Saltern, western Iraq to followuppreviously mentioned relatively high K concentrations in the salt and in the brine. Thepresent work is based on field observations, sampling, mineralogical and chemical analyses ofsalt crust, brine and sediments.The results showed that all salt samples analyzed by X-ray diffraction contained sylvite(KCl) with halite as the dominant constituent. The older (dust-contaminated) salt crustcontained 1.63% KCl and the recent (freshly precipitated) crust contained 3.52% KCl,whereas the brine contained 1.3% KCl with 330 gm/l salinity. The major salt constituent isNaCl, making about 83% of total salts in the crust and about 30% in the brine.Compared to average K content in seawater (0.39 gm/l) and in the Arabian Gulf water(0.5 gm/l), the Albu-Gharis Saltern may be considered a potential potash resource in Iraq.KCl may be produced from the bitter solution left after NaCl precipitation from the brine. TheAlbu-Gharis brine is lower (one third) in potash concentration, but comparable in salinity tothe Dead Sea, which contains 4.4% KCl and 315 gm/l salinity. However, the Dead Sea ishighly different in other chemical constituents.

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Article
MINERAL RESOURCES OF KURDISTAN REGION, IRAQ

Author: Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2013 Volume: 9 Issue: 3 Pages: 103-127
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

Kurdistan Region is characterized among the rest of Iraqi territory, by the presence of metallic mineral deposits such as Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr-Ni and Mn, together with some unique non-metallic minerals and industrial rocks such as barite, asbestos and marble. The formation of these mineral deposits is associated with the geological and tectonic development of northern Iraq including the major tectonic events associated with the Tethys development and movement of the Arabian Plate. Most of the metallic mineralizations were developed during the Cretaceous Period. Some Zn-Pb deposits are older and may be related to the Triassic and Jurassic Periods. The actual mineral wealth of the region is not really known, in view of the lack of detailed geological mapping, geochemical survey and air-born geophysical survey. However, based on the available information it is expected that the province is promising for Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, marble and barite deposits. Building raw materials are available to maintain cement industry and other construction materials. It is essential to start a comprehensive exploration program in Kurdistan Region in order to have a better view of its mineral potential.

يتميز إقليم كردستان عن باقي مناطق العراق بوجود رواسب للخامات الفلزية مثل الخارصين والرصاص والنحاس والكروم والنيكل والمنغنيز، فضلاً عن بعض الخامات المعدنية اللافلزية والصخور الصناعية المتميزة مثل البارايت والأسبست والمرمر. يرتبط تكوّن هذه الرواسب المعدنية مع التطور البنيوي والجيولوجي لشمال العراق والأحداث البنيوية التي ارتبطت بتطور محيط التيثيس وحركة الصفيحة العربية. إن معظم الخامات المعدنية الفلزية تكونت خلال العصر الطباشيري، غير أن بعض رواسب الخارصين والرصاص أقدم عمراً ويمكن أن تعود الى العصرين الترياسي والجوراسي.إن الثروة المعدنية الحقيقية للإقليم غير معروفة بشكل دقيق بالنظر لانعدام المسوحات الجيولوجية التفصيلية لأغراض الاستكشافات المعدنية والمسوحات الجيوكيميائية والمسح الجيوفيزيائي الجوي للمنطقة. غير انه بالنظر الى المعلومات المتوفرة يمكن التوقع بأن الإقليم يحتوي على رواسب مشجعة من الخارصين والرصاص والنحاس والكروم فضلاً عن المرمر والبارايت. وتوجد مواد أولية للصناعات الإنشائية بشكل يكفي ويديم صناعة الأسمنت والمواد الإنشائية الأخرى. من الضروري المباشرة بتنفيذ برنامج استكشافي متكامل للحصول على فكرة أفضل عن الإمكانية المعدنية لإقليم كردستان.

Keywords

Minerals --- Kurdistan --- Iraq


Article
DISTRIBUTION AND ECOLOGY OF RECENT MOLLUSKS IN THE EUPHRATES RIVER – IRAQ

Authors: Karim M. Hassan --- Khaldoun S. Al-Bassam
Journal: Iraqi Bulletin of Geology and Mining مجلة الجيولوجيا والتعدين العراقية ISSN: 18114539 Year: 2006 Volume: 2 Issue: 1 Pages: 57-66
Publisher: Ministry of Industry and Minerals وزارة الصناعة والمعادن

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Abstract

A reconnaissance survey in the Euphrates River from Al–Qaim to Nassiriya showed the following types of mollusks: Corbicula (Corbicula) fluminalis MULLER, Unio tigridis BOURGUIGNAT, Mytilus sp., bellamya cf. bengalensis LAMARK, Melanoides sp. and Melanopsis nodosa FERUSSAC. The distribution of these mollusks is variable in the river basin; generally the pelecypods are common in the northern sector whereas the gastropods are found in the southern sector only. The most common species in the whole river is C. (Corbicula) fluminalis MULLER, followed by Unio tigridis BOURGUIGNAT. On the other hand, Bellamya cf. bengalensis LAMARK is the commonest species in the southern sector. The distribution of these mollusks in the Euphrates River seems to be controlled by water salinity, type of dissolved salts, speed of water flow, TSS, BOD and COD contents of the river water. The northern sector of the Euphrates River is characterized by faster flow, lower salinity, better aeration, lower TSS, TDS, BOD and COD concentrations and an HCO3, SO4, Ca, Mg water type. In the southern sector the river flow is slower and remarkably higher in TSS, TDS, COD and BOD concentrations relative to the northern sector.

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