Formation of Juvenile Continental Crust in the Arabian-Nubian Shield: Evidence from Granitic Rocks of the Nakasib Suture, NE Sudan


Major and trace element data, U-Pb zircon ages, and initial isotopic compositions of Sr, Nd, and Pb are reported for ten granitic and one rhyolitic rock sample from the neo-Proterozoic Nakasib suture in NE Sudan. Chemical data indicate that the samples are medium- to high-K, "I-type" granitic rocks that mostly plot as "volcanic arc granites" on discriminant diagrams. Geochronologic data indicate that rifting occurred 790±2 Ma and constrain the time of deformation associated with suturing of the Gebeit and Haya terranes to have ended by approximately 740 Ma. Isotopic data show a limited range, with initial 87Sr/86Sr=0.7021 to 0.7032 (mean=0.7025), εNd(t) =+5.5 to +7.0 (mean=+6.4), and 206Pb/204Pb = 17.50-17.62. Neodymium model ages (TDM; 0.69-0.85 Ga; mean = 0.76 Ga) are indistinguishable from crystallization ages (0.79-0.71 Ga; mean=0.76 Ga), and the isotopic data considered together indicate derivation from homogeneously depleted mantle. The geochronologic data indicate that the terrane accretion to form the Arabian-Nubian shield began just prior to 750 Ma. The isotopic data reinforces models for the generation of large volumes of juvenile continental crust during neo-Proterozoic time, probably at intra-oceanic convergent margins. The data also indicate that crust formation was associated with two cycles of incompatible element enrichment in granitic rocks, with an earlier cycle beginning approximately 870 Ma and culminating approximately 740 Ma, and the second cycle beginning after pervasive high-degree melts - possibly hot-spot related - were emplaced approximately 690-720 Ma.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

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International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0016-7835; 1437-3254

Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 1998 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 1998