Barite Concretions in Wadi Halfa Oolitic Ironstone Formation, North Sudan

Main Article Content

Abazar M. A. Daoud
Rashed M. A.
Kadry N. Sediek
Elamein A. M.
Elsharief A. M.


During our examination of the outcrops of the sedimentary formations in northern Sudan, we found discoidal-shape grains of the heavy mineral, barite in a sandstone of the Wadi Halfa Oolitic Ironstone Formation, which was recorded by all the earlier workers as a reworked sandstone. Petrography-wise, the framework of the sandstone consists of very angular to angular quartz grains, in which monocrystalline grains dominate over polycrystalline grains. Barite is the main cementing material of this sandstone, which occurs as concretions. Barite concretions indicate that more of the original porosity has been destroyed by cementation rather than by compaction processes with the inter-granular porosity being reduced mainly due to cementation. The origin of these concretions, as a cementing material in the sandstone, is ascribed to the reaction of Ba with some soluble sulfate to form the extremely insoluble heavy barite that appears as rounded concretions. The sulfur of the sulfate may be from the hydrothermal fluids related to submarine volcanism and/or biogeochemical processes. The deposition of these concretions might have taken place not long after the formation of the sandstone. The source of the barium, however, remains an unsolved problem. Further work is needed to interpret the origin and occurrence of these concretions along the region of Wadi Halfa.

Barite concretions, Wadi Halfa oolitic ironstone, cementation, Sudan

Article Details

How to Cite
Daoud, A. M. A., M. A., R., Sediek, K. N., A. M., E., & A. M., E. (2020). Barite Concretions in Wadi Halfa Oolitic Ironstone Formation, North Sudan. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 24(5), 51-64.
Original Research Article


Elamein AM. Sedimentology and stratigraphy of upper carboniferous Permo-Triassic clastic sediments around Wadi Halfa and Argeen areas, Northern Sudan. PhD Thesis, University of Khartoum, Sudan (Unpub.); 2015.

Nafi A, Elamein M, El Dawi K, Salih O, ElBahi A, Abou. Wadi Halfa Oolitic ironstone formation. Int. Jour. of Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering. 2015;9(10):1271-1276.

Nafi M, El Amein A, El Dawi M, Salih K, Elbahi O, Abou A. Wadi Halfa Oolitic ironstone formation, Wadi Halfa and Argein Areas, North Sudan. International Journal of Environmental and Ecological Engineering. 2015;9(10):1290-1295.

Vail JR. Outline of the geology and mineral deposits of the Democratic Republic of Sudan and adjacent areas. Overseas Geology and Mineral Resources. 1978;49: 66.

Vail JR, Dawoud AS, Ahmed F. Geology of the third cataract, Wadi Halfa District, Northern Province, Sudan. Geol Min Res Dept Sudan Bull. 1973;22-34.

Stern RJ, Kroner A, Bender R, Reischmann T, Dawoud AS. Precambrian basement around Wadi Halfa, Sudan: A new perspective on the evolution of the East Saharan Craton. Geol. Rundschau. 1994;83:564-577.

Brobst DA. Barite resources of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin. 1958;1072–B:130.


Clark SHB, Gallagher MJ, Poole FG. World barite resources—A review of recent production patterns and a genetic classification. Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy—Section B—Applied Earth Sciences. 1990;99:B125–B132.

Roskill Information Services, Ltd. The economics of barytes, 10th Ed.: London, United Kingdom, Roskill Information Services, Ltd. 2006;254.

Arrhenius G, Bonatti E. Neptunism and volcanism in the ocean. In: Sears, M., Ed.: Progress in Oceanography, London: Pergamon. 1965;3:7-22.

Hanor. Regional control and zoning of barite in Eastern North America. Econ. Geology. 1967;62:870.

Clowes F. Barium sulphate as a cementing material in sandstone. Roy. Soc. Proc. J. S. C. I. 1895;6:712.

Dickson CW. The concentration of barium in limestone. School of Mines Quart. 1902;23:366-370.

Pogue JE. On sand barites from Kharga, Egypt. I/. S. Nat. Mus. Proc. 1911;38:17-24.

Tarr WA. The origin of sand barites of the Lower Permian of Oklahoma. Amer. Jour. Mineral. 1933;18:260-272.

Dehairs FR, Chesselet, Jedwab J. Discrete suspended particles of barite and the barium cycle in the open ocean. Earth Planet. Sci. 1980;49:528–550.

Bogoch R, Buchbinder B. Petrography, geochemistry and evaluation of barite concretions in eocene pelagic chalks from Israel. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology. 1987;57(3):522-529.

Paytan A, Chavez FP. Glacial to interglacial fluctuations of productivity in the equatorial pacific as indicated by marine barite. Science. 1996;274:1355-1357.

Jean GB, Hans JB. Barite concretions as evidence of pauses in sedimentation in the Marnes Bleues formation of the Vocontian Basin (SE France). Sedimentary Geology. 2000;130:205–228.

Dickinson WR. Interpreting provenance relations from detrital modes of sandstones. In: Provenance of sandstones, (Ed.) Zuffa G. G., D. Reidel., Dordrecht. 1985;333–361.

Daoud AMA, Rashed MA, Elsharief AM, Sediek KN, Elamein AM. The geotechnical properties of the oolitic ironstone formation, Wadi Halfa, North Sudan. Journal of Geology and Mining Research. 2020;12(1):25-34. Available:

Housekneckt DW. Intergranular pressure solution in four quartzose sandstones. Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Bull. 1987;2: 507–52.