Recent colluvial sedimentation in Jordan: fans evolving into sand ramps
Article first published online: 11 DEC 2002
Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 1283–1298, December 2002
How to Cite
Turner, B. R. and Makhlouf, I. (2002), Recent colluvial sedimentation in Jordan: fans evolving into sand ramps. Sedimentology, 49: 1283–1298. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3091.2002.00497.x
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 11 DEC 2002
- Manuscript received 24 October 2001; revision accepted 3 July 2002.
- Colluvial fans;
- depositional processes;
- sand ramps
Abstract High-angle accumulations of sand and escarpment-derived gravel along the outcrop walls of Plio-Pleistocene sandstones, eastern Jordan, form small, coalesced colluvial fans, built by rockfalls, rockfall-derived debris flows, dry sandfalls and sandy grainflows. These deposits are sourced through wind erosion of fault-controlled outcrops of weakly cemented sandstone and a hard, gypsum-cemented sandstone and fine conglomerate caprock exposed in sandpits. Eroded sediment is supplied to the fans directly as rockfalls and sandfalls, and indirectly as gully-confined sandy grainflows. The preserved colluvium fans comprise sandy, matrix-rich rockfall, rockfall-derived, dry debris-flow lenticular gravel deposits and minor lenticular sandy grainflow deposits. The fans develop initially against the footwall escarpment and, as erosion continues, the outcrop and the fans become covered by stable sand sheet ramps in a self-regulatory geomorphic system. Preserved fan–sand ramp systems in eastern Jordan are characterized by a threefold hierarchy of genetically related bounding surfaces, which develop over short time scales. Rapid fault-controlled uplift and/or rapid stream incision may produce non-equilibrium scarp faces, identical to those in the sandpits, associated with the colluvial fan–sand ramp systems. Thus, such systems have the potential to identify fault-related unconformities, rapid uplift events and episodes of rapid downcutting in the rock record. Colluvium deposits have good preservation potential, but are often associated with complex, coarse, basin-margin facies, and are thus difficult to identify in the stratigraphic record; a problem exacerbated by the lack of adequate colluvium facies models and diagnostic sedimentary criteria.