MINERALOGY, GEOCHEMISTRY AND ORIGIN OF CRETACEOUS CHERT FROM WADI AL-WALA, CENTRAL JORDAN
This research is aimed at detailed investigation of the origin chert rocks in Wadi Al-Wala area in central Jordan. The chert in the area is of Upper Cretaceous in age and belongs to the widely distributed chert on the western margin of the Arabian Plate. Field characteristic structures of these cherts indicate that they occur in three forms: bedded, concretion and brecciated structure. Nine representative samples were selected for the present study.
The mineralogical study shows that the chert is mainly consisted of microcrystalline quartz, calcite microcrystalline quartz, fossils and phosphatic microcrystalline quartz. The bedded chert are composed almost entirely of microcrystalline quartz and secreting organism. Geochemical investigation of Wadi Al-Wala chert shows that the content of trace elements is considerably variable, and most trace elements are low. This may indicate that the chert in the study area is resulted from the leaching of country rocks by hydrothermal solution and the evidence from submarine hydrothermal origin of silica forming this chert. This is further supported by the low MnO/Fe2O3t ratio, Cr/Zn and Ni/Zn ratios.