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Article by Victoria Pease et al.

Deciphering crustal growth in the southernmost Arabian Shield through zircon U-Pb geochronology, whole rock chemistry and Nd isotopes

part of map of saudi arabia

Abstract:
New U-Pb zircon geochronology using high-spatial resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry fills a data gap and provides crystallization ages for granitoids from the Asir composite terrane in the southernmost Arabian Shield of Saudi Arabia. Ages of c. 810–685 Ma, c. 663–636 Ma, and 625– 610 Ma reflect oceanic island arc genesis, subduction-related arc accretion (syn-collisional), and post-collisional stabilization, respectively. All samples have juvenile εNd(t) compositions with no evidence of older material being involved in their genesis, indicating that this part of the Arabian Shield grew through juvenile magmatic addition and that assimilation by syn- and post-tectonic magmatism involved an isotopically juvenile component(s). The crustal thickness derived from the (La/Yb)N proxy indicates significant thickening from 10–20 km to c. 70 km at c. 650 Ma, consistent with timing of orogenic uplift and increasing crustal thickness post-dating peak Nabitah orogeny. The age of an intrusion cross-cutting the Atura formation, when combined with other data, provides a well-constrained depositional age of c. 646–625 Ma for the Atura formation and indicates that erosion of the orogenic edifice in this part of the Arabian Shield began at latest by 625 Ma. Our new data indicate that denudation occurred 80–100 m.y. before the development of the prominent sub-Cambrian peneplain, consistent with previous assertions that major pulses of denudation occurred prior to the waning stages of Nabitah orogenesis.

Victoria Pease, Fitsum G. Yeshanew, and Martin J. Whitehouse. Deciphering crustal growth in the southernmost Arabian Shield through zircon U-Pb geochronology, whole rock chemistry and Nd isotopes. International Geology Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/00206814.2021.1983735