Petrogenesis of late Neoproterozoic dikes in the northern Arabian-Nubian shield. Implications for the origin of A-type granites

Ronit Kessel, Mordechai Stein, Oded Navon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The petrogenesis of late Proterozoic dikes from the Elat and Amram massifs (southern Israel) is constrained by major and trace element geochemistry, and is linked to formation of alkaline (A-type) granites. Three swarms of dikes intruded the late Proterozoic crustal rocks between 600 and 540 Ma. The older dikes strike N-S and are calc-alkaline (CA suite). A younger suite strikes NE-SW and is tholeiitic (TH suite). Both suites include dikes of mafic to felsic compositions (49-77 wt% SiO2). Two alkali-basaltic dikes which dissect the former suites strike NW-SE (AB suite). Mafic dikes of all suites show relatively high Ni, V, and Cr concentrations (up to 120, 198, and 407 ppm, respectively) and high Mg# (up to 0.68). They display moderate LREE enrichment, lack Eu anomaly, and have flat HREE patterns. Nb is significantly lower in the CA dikes compared to the concentrations in the tholeiitic and alkali-basaltic suites. Thermodynamical and mass balance modeling of major and trace elements stronly suggest that the range of lithologies in each suite is related by crystal fractionation. Although the role of assimilation is not significant, mixing by young crustal rocks or mixing over limited range of compositions cannot be ruled out. The CA dikes evolved by fractional crystallization of mainly amphibole, plagioclase, biotite, spinel, and apatite from hydrous andesitic magmas. Plagioclase, alkali-feldspar and quartz crystallized from the dacitic and rhyolitic magmas. The tholeiitic dikes evolved by fractional crystallization of anhydrous basaltic magmas by removal of clinopyroxene, plagioclase, spinel, alkali-feldspar, quartz, apatite, and Fe-oxides. Rhyolites from the study area have the characteristics of A-type granites, with compositions that fall along the trends of the felsic tholeiitic dikes, suggesting co-genetic relations. At least some A-type felsic magmas in the Arabian-Nubian Shield are anhydrous fractionation products of basaltic magmas.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)195-213
Number of pages19
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 1998


  • A-type granites
  • Arabian-Nubian shield
  • Calc-alkaline
  • Dikes
  • Granites
  • Pan-African Orogeny
  • Petrogenesis
  • Proterozoic
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tholeiite


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