Bassis, A and Hinderer, M and Meinhold, G (2016) New insights into the provenance of Saudi Arabian Palaeozoic sandstones from heavy mineral analysis and single-grain geochemistry. Sedimentary Geology, 333. 100 -114. ISSN 0037-0738

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Abstract

Saudi Arabian Palaeozoic siliciclastics cover a stratigraphic range from the Cambrian to the Permian. They crop out along the eastern margin of the Arabian Shield and are comprised of highly mature sandstones. Their heavy mineral assemblage reflects their mineralogical maturity and is dominated by the ultra-stable phases zircon, tourmaline and rutile. Less stable accessories are apatite, staurolite and garnet. Standard heavy mineral analysis of samples from two study areas in central/northern (Tabuk area) and southern (Wajid area) Saudi Arabia reveals distinct changes in provenance. Cambrian–Ordovician sandstones are first-cycle sediments, probably sourced from the ‘Pan-African’ basement. The overlying Hirnantian glaciogenic deposits consist of recycled Cambrian–Ordovician material. Devonian–Permian sandstones show a significant influx of fresh basement material, as attested by an increase of meta-stable heavy minerals. Single-grain geochemical analysis of rutile and garnet has proven to be a powerful supplementary technique. Rutile varietal studies reveal distinct differences in host rock lithologies between the two study areas: the Tabuk area contains predominantly felsic rutiles, whereas the Wajid area has more mafic input. Zr-in-rutile thermometry identified granulite-facies detritus in the lower Palaeozoic of the Tabuk area and has the potential to further define source areas. The distribution patterns of garnet host rock lithologies are remarkably similar in both study areas. They are dominated by amphibolite-facies metasediments and intermediate to felsic igneous rocks. Garnets derived from granulite-facies metasediments, which are scarce in the Arabian–Nubian Shield, also occur. Possible source rocks for high-grade garnets can be found in Yemen or farther south in the Mozambique Belt.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.12.009 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Palaeozoic, Provenance, Heavy minerals, Quartz arenite
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: 13 Oct 2017 14:17
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 14:19
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4090

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