• Varoujan K. Sissakian
  • Mawahib F. Abdul Jab'bar
Keywords: Alluvial fans, Bajada, Pleistocene, Iraq


The Iraqi territory exhibits diverse topography in its different parts; from the extreme southeast, where the coastal area along the Arabian Gulf, passing northwards to the Mesopotamia Plain, and more north and northeast to hilly, low mountainous and high mountainous areas, respectively. Whilst towards west, the plateau of the Southern and Western Deserts exist and in the northwestern part is the Jazira Plain. This diversity in the topography with climatic changes has caused development of different systems of alluvial fans, with different ages, stages, shapes, sizes and constituents.

This study aims to establish a classification of alluvial fans developed in Iraq depending mainly on the stages, for the main types and the size, shape and covering constituents for the types and sub-types. Consequently, two main types were found: Single Stage and Multi Stage Alluvial Fans. Furthermore, each main type is classified into many types, depending on the size, shape and top covering materials. The age is not included in the classification, because almost all the existing alluvial fans in Iraq have the same age range (Pleistocene – Holocene). Moreover, no accurate dating is available to use for the fan classification. The constituent factor is not used, because it depends on the type of the exposed rocks in the source area. Examples are given for each type and sub-type from different parts of Iraq. Some of the examples have fan names, used in other studies.