Bassis, A and Hinderer, M and Meinhold, G (2016) Petrography and geochemistry of Palaeozoic quartz-rich sandstones from Saudi Arabia: implications for provenance and chemostratigraphy. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 9. ISSN 1866-7511

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Abstract

The Arabian Peninsula hosts a thick Palaeozoic succession, ranging from the Cambrian through the Permian. It not only contains deposits of the two major Palaeozoic glaciations but also holds both the major Palaeozoic hydrocarbon source and reservoir rocks. In addition, Palaeozoic sandstones serve as important aquifers. The succession is dominated by highly mature quartz arenites, as seen in thin sections. It is starved of fossils and very uniform in lithology. In order to better understand provenance, tectonic setting and
stratigraphic relationships, the petrography as well as major and trace element
geochemistry of sandstones were studied. Samples were taken from two study areas in southern (Wajid area) as well as central and northern (Tabuk area) Saudi Arabia. The dataset we present here is the first comprehensive study to cover the entire Palaeozoic succession in both the southern and northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The collisional signal from some samples is a relic from the last stages of the amalgamation of Gondwana, carried into the basin by glaciogenic sediments. Major and trace element geochemistry indicate the
Neoproterozoic basement of the nearby Arabian Shield as the most likely source for the detritus. Tectonic discrimination diagrams suggest that deposition of sandstones took place in an intracratonic setting, which is in accordance with the established model for the evolution of the Arabian Plate. An influx of fresh material, probably sourced from the Shield, did occur in the late Palaeozoic units of the Wajid area but did not reach the Tabuk area. Geochemical methods have shown some success in characterising the provenance of both study areas but were unable to reliably assess sedimentary recycling. A (meta‐)sedimentary
source for the Palaeozoic sandstones could therefore neither be proven nor refuted. Multivariate cluster and principal component analysis of geochemical data revealed significant differences between the two study areas.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Springer at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Palaeozoic, sandstone, provenance, petrography, geochemistry, chemostratigraphy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2017 08:10
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 08:13
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4089

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