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Reconnaissance geology of the Precambrian rocks in the Ayn Qunay quadrangle, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Open-File Report 72-281

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Abstract

The Aya Qunay quadrangle covers an area of 2833 sq km in central Saudi Arabia, Only the western edge of the quadrangle is underlain by Precambrian rocks, which were the subject of this investigation. Toward the east the Precambrian rocks are unconformably overlain by Permian and younger sedimentary rocks. The Permian rocks at the west edge of the Ayn Qunay quadrangle consist mainly of a granitic intrusive complex of batholithic dimensions. Parts of the eastern edge of the granitic complex are exposed just west of the overlying Khuff Formation of Permian age, where biotite-hornblende granite of the complex intrudes chlorite-sericite schist of the Precambrian Bi'r Khountina Group. The biotite-hornblende granite of the complex also intrudes plutons of diorite, gabbro, and pyroxenite and is itself intruded by granite porphyry, thereby indicating some difference in age between the granitic rocks in the complex. A sequence of metamorphosed volcanic rocks composed mainly of andesite, rhyolite, and kindred rocks, and called the Halaban Group, is older than the Bi'r Khountina Group. Relations between the Halaban and a gray hornblende-biotite granite gneiss are uncertain, but the gneiss may be older than the Halaban. The few observed contacts disclosed parallel foliation in the two units, but the foliation may have been imposed after the Halaban was deposited on the granite gneiss. Two major left-lateral faults extend west-northwest across the Precambrian rocks but are not in the Permian rocks. These faults parallel to the Najd fault zone found farther south. Seemingly they correlate in time with early movements on the Najd fault zone, but not with the latest. Saprolitic material-of variable thickness is present on the upper surface of the Precambrian rocks beneath the Khuff Formation at many places. Where the Khuff Formation has been removed by erosion, the saprolite is also stripped away. The weathering probably took place in pre-Khuff time. No ancient mines or prospects were seen in the Precambrian rocks; however, a notable positive anomaly for tungsten in concentrates is associated with a small prominence of granite porphyry 35 km southwest of Ayn Qunay. Further investigation of the porphyry should be undertaken to learn the amount of scheelite at this locality.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Reconnaissance geology of the Precambrian rocks in the Ayn Qunay quadrangle, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
72-281
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1972
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey],
Description:
ii, 26 leaves :col. ill., folded map ;27 cm.