Author:
Talal M. Qadhi Department of Mineral Resources and Rocks, Faculty of Earth Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, 80206, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Abstract

The Jabal Hamra (538 Ma) and Jabal Abu ad Dud plutons in northeast Saudi Arabia are epizonal bodies consisting of alkali feldspar granite and alkali feldspar syenite. Fracture-controlled zones of highly altered granites are recorded along the margins of the plutons. The granites intrude metamorphosed volcano-sedimentary successions of the Matran Formation. The rocks of the two plutons are chemically indistinguishable. They are characterized by above-average Th, Nb, Y, Ta, Hf and Zr, very low CaO, TiO2, MgO, FeO and MnO, and by high contents of rare earth elements (REE). Tectonic discrimination diagrams suggest an intra-plate environment, with many geochemical and mineralogical features resembling post-orogenic A-type granites. Numerous local and regional geologic constraints indicate that the plutons were intruded in an extension-related setting following the cessation of Neoproterozoic arc-related magmatism. Geochemical data are consistent with their derivation by partial melting of depleted crust followed by fractional crystallization of feldspars, ferromagnesian minerals and REE-rich accessory phases. The radiogenic isotope data [eNd (T) values are +3.5 to +4.2] indicate that the granite magma was generated from a ‘juvenile’ source, which is typical of the rocks making up most of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Rare-metal mineralization is associated with the fracture-controlled alteration zones that occur at Jabal Al Hamra and Jabal Abu ad Dud. The altered rocks are characterized by higher TiO2, Fe2O3, SiO2 and lower Al2O3, CaO, Na2O, than the unaltered rocks. They show high and wide range in the total REE contents (804–15579 ppm), Ta (6–194 ppm), Nb (51–3483 ppm), Hf (13–368 ppm), Zr (394–14887 ppm), Th (16–572 ppm) and U (4–143 ppm). Field observations and further petrographic and chemical studies suggest that the altered rocks and the rare metal enrichment are the products of hydrothermal-metasomatic alteration of the quartz alkali feldspar syenite and the alkali feldspar granite. The rare-metal enrichment was explained by orthomagmatic fluid transport of these elements as fluoride complexes, and their subsequent deposition as a result of mixing with externally derived Fe-rich fluids.

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Central European Geology
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Vol 64- : A4
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