A lead isotope study of mineralization in the Saudi Arabian Shield

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

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DOI: 10.1007/BF01132003



New lead isotope data are presented for some late Precambrian and early Paleozoic vein and massive sulfide deposits in the Arabian Shield. Using the Stacey Kramers (1975) model for lead isotope evolution, isochron model ages range between 720 m.y. and 420 m.y. Most of the massive sulfide deposits in the region formed before 680 m.y. ago, during evolution of the shield. Vein type mineralization of higher lead content occurred during the Pan African event about 550 m.y. ago and continued through the Najd period of extensive faulting in the shield that ended about 530 m.y. ago. Late post-tectonic metamorphism may have been responsible for vein deposits that have model ages less than 500 m.y. Alternatively some of these younger model ages may be too low due to the mineralizing fluids acquiring radiogenic lead from appreciably older local crustal rocks at the time of ore formation. The low207Pb/204Pb ratios found for the deposits in the main part of the shield and for those in north-eastern Egypt, indicate that the Arabian craton was formed in an oceanic crustal environment during the late Precambrian. Involvement of older, upper-crustal material in the formation of the ore deposits in this part of the shield is precluded by their low207Pb/204Pb and208Pb/204Pb characteristics. In the eastern part of the shield, east of longitude 44??20???E towards the Al Amar-Idsas fault region, lead data are quite different. They exhibit a linear207Pb/204Pb-206Pb/204Pb relationship together with distinctly higher208Pb/204Pb characteristics. These data imply the existence of lower crustal rocks of early Proterozoic age that apparently have underthrust the shield rocks from the east. If most of the samples we have analyzed from this easterly region were mineralized 530 m.y. ago, then the age of the older continental rocks is 2,100??300 m.y. (2??). The presence of upper crustal rocks, possibly also of early Proterozoic age, is indicated by galena data from Hailan in South Yemen and also from near Muscat in Oman. These data are the first to indicate such old continental material in these regions. ?? 1980 Springer-Verlag.

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A lead isotope study of mineralization in the Saudi Arabian Shield
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Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
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