Cadomian (ca. 550 Ma) magmatic and thermal imprint on the North Arabian-Nubian Shield (south and central Israel): New age and isotopic constraints

Avishai Abbo*, Dov Avigad, Axel Gerdes, Navot Morag, Shlomy Vainer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS) is a province of mostly juvenile Neoproterozoic continental crust in NE Africa and Arabia, forming the northern extension of the East-African orogen. Subsequent to widespread, mostly late- to post-orogenic early-Ediacaran calc-alkaline granitoid emplacement, the latest magmatic phase in the ANS saw the intrusion of alkaline shallow plutons alongside volcanic massifs and dikes of variable compositions. While some of these intrusions were dated to 550–530 Ma by Rb-Sr and Ar-Ar, U-Pb zircon data has mostly limited ANS magmatism to no younger than ca. 580 Ma. Here we report new age and isotopic data from latest Neoproterozoic intrusions along a N-S transect within the northern ANS and its periphery, substantiating the record of a ca. 550 Ma igneous-thermal event in the area. In the northern Negev of Israel, mafic igneous rocks intruded into the subsurface late Neoproterozoic clastic wedge of the Zenifim Formation produced apatite U-Pb isochron ages between 557 and 545 Ma. In the Amram alkaline massif, 150 km to the south, an alkali-granite was dated to 605 ± 2.5 Ma by zircon U-Pb, but apatite U-Pb ages from all rocks of the massif concentrate at ca. 550 Ma indicating thermal resetting. Apatites from the zircon dated 611 ± 5 Ma Roded quartz diorite in the Elat area, south of Amram, produced a 600 ± 4 Ma U-Pb age, demonstrating that southern segments were not thermally reset at ca. 550 Ma. Nd isotopes in apatite and whole rock show the ca. 550 Ma igneous rocks to be variable in their isotopic composition, ranging between εNd(t)=(-4) – (+2), far less juvenile than typical ANS magmas. The ca. 550 Ma intrusions resemble in their age and isotopic properties Cadomian granites and volcanic rocks that are known from southern Turkey, Iran and Europe. We interpret the ca. 550 Ma igneous overprint and thermal resetting documented in the northernmost ANS as related to the superposition of Cadomian orogeny on the ANS periphery. This can be related to the late Ediacaran subduction of proto-Tethys accompanying the accretion of the Cadomian basement of the Tauride block to NE Africa and Arabia, before the area was overstepped by Cambrian platform sedimentation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number105804
JournalPrecambrian Research
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Arabian-Nubian Shield
  • Cadomian
  • Latest Ediacaran
  • apatite U-Pb-Nd
  • zircon U-Pb-Hf


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