Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Sandstones from the Tanjero Formation, Bekhme Gorge Northeastern Iraq: Implications for Paleoweathering and Provenance


  • Rafee I. Al-Hamidi Departmentof Geology, College of Sciences, University of Mosul, Iraq
  • Shareef T. Al-Hamed Departmentof Geology, College of Sciences, University of Mosul, Iraq
  • Zaid A. Malak Departmentof Geology, College of Sciences, University of Mosul, Iraq
  • Abdulsattar A. Al-Sanjary Environmental Research Center, University of Mosul, Iraq




Sandstones, Tanjero, Bekhme , Paleoweathering, Provenance, Iraq


The Tanjero Formation is exposed on the Northern flank of the Perat anticline near the Northern entrance to the Bakhme gorge through which the waters of the Upper Zab flow. As for tectonics, it is located within the High Folded Zone of the Unstable Shelf. The Tanjero Formation is about 80 m. thick, it is bounded from the bottom by the Shiranish Formation. The formation consists of gray sandstone that contains gravel at the bottom followed by beds of marl, hard sandstone, and black claystone containing cushioning structures and small-scale cross-bedding are present. According to the Williams classification, the theTanjero sandstones drop at the lithic wacke field. The provenance of these sandstones was investigated based on their minerals and geochemical composition. The geochemical analyses showed low silica, a negative correlation of silica with the most major oxides due to recycling sedimentary sources or weathering of silicates. The index of compositional variability indicates that the sandstones of the Tanjero Formation are immature clastic sediments and the high index of compositional variability values confirms that the clastic sediments occurred in the tectonically active settings area. Moderate chemical weathering has dominated in the studied area, which was inferred from the chemical index of alteration, the chemical index of weathering, and the plagioclase index of alteration Based on the tectonic discrimination diagrams, the Tanjero sandstones are quartzose sedimentary provenance, felsic igneous rocks source, transitional arc–lithic recycled setting, and located in the collision zone between the passive Arab margin and the effective Iranian-Turkish margin that formed the orogeny belt along the collision zone.




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