Unusual dolines are widely distributed in the northwestern part of Jordan along the western shoulder of wadi Sijin, a tributary of the Yarmouk River. The dolines are the result of dissolution of calcined carbonates. Lime (CaO) in wadi Sijin in Maqarin area is the result of the spontaneous combustion of the Bituminous Marl Formation that crops out at the southern bank of the Yarmouk River. Combustion took place after the drop in the groundwater level and the incision of the nearby wadi bottom. The volcanic activities during the Pleistocene time were probably the triggering factor for the ignition of the bituminous limestone. Combustion of bituminous marl has led to decarbonation and the formation of lime. Hyperalkaline groundwater activity and associated lime (CaO) -water interaction is evident along wadi Sijin and the Yarmouk River. High pH seepages are still flowing along the River. The groundwater discharges today is characterized by high hydroxide alkalinity, saturation with calcium sulphate and high concentrations of trace elements. The potential development projects in the karstified area are bringing more activities into the area. Sinkholes in the karstified area represent a very special geohazard and potential development projects should take it into consideration.


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