Notes on biogenic tufas associated with the Zerqa-Ma’in hot springs of Jordan
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This paper presents petrographic and geochemical data from a Quaternary tufa deposit and associated hot-spring water from the Zerqa-Ma’in area of the eastern side of Jordan Rift Valley. The Zerqa-Ma’in phytoherm tufa is formed by encrustration of mosses and algae in which the rate of calcite precipitation is probably controlled by water turbulence. Calcite precipitates mainly as fibrous crystals containing an appreciable amount of crystallites and inclusion-rich zones. Trace element analysis of the tufa shows high concentrations of Sr and Mn which were probably derived from leaching of Triassic Ca-sulphates in the area and the mosses in the tufa, respectively. CaCO3 saturation index (S.I) values of the water indicate that the calcite in Zerqa-Ma’in tufa is precipitated mainly from biogenic activities.
KeywordsCalcite Tufa Stromatolite Saturation Index Rift Valley
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