BackgroundKhaybar is one of 3 coalesced basaltic lava fields, Harrats Khaybar, Ithnayn, and Kura, which constitute the largest contiguous area of Cenozoic basalt in Saudi Arabia, similar in extent (20,564 km2) and volume (1,850 km3) to Harrat Rahat, which is situated only 25 km to the south. The field contains 327 scoria cones, 46 basaltic shield volcanoes, 20 domes, 5 tuff cones, one basaltic stratovolcano (symmetrical Jebel Qidr) and 39 massive and very long "whale-back" lava flows.
Lavas from the 5 million years-old Harrat Khaybar overlap the older lavas of Harrat Kura to the west and merge with lavas from Harrat Ithnayn to the north.
The so-called "whale-back" lava flows are an unusual landform of coalesced lava shields forming above large tubes feeding long lava flows and are particularly common from the Harrats in western Arabia. The whaleback flows can be up to 20 km long, and form strings of open craters (skylights of the lava flows) abvoe the lava tunnel.
- Camp V E, Roobol M J, Hooper P R (1991) "The Arabia continental alkali basalt province: Part II. Evolution of Harrats Khaybar, Ithnayn, and Kura, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", Geol Soc Amer Bull, v 103, pp 363-391
- Smithsonian / GVP
See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8