The Thaniyah quadrangle, sheet 20/42 C, is located in the transition zone between the Hijaz Mountains and the Najd Plateau of southwestern Saudi Arabia between lat 20?00' and 20?30' N., long 42?00' to 42?30' E. The quadrangle is underlain by Precambrian metavolcanic, metasedimentary, plutonic, and dike rocks. Metavolcanic rocks consist of metamorphosed basalt and andesite with minor dacite and rhyolite and underlie three discontinuous northwest-trending belts. Metasedimentary rocks are confined to small areas underlain by quartzite, metasandstone, marble, and calc-silicate rock.
Plutonic rocks include an extensive unit of tonalite and quartz diorite and a smaller unit of diorite and quartz diorite, which occupy much of the central part of the quadrangle. A small body of diorite and gabbro and a two-part zone of tonalite gneiss are also present. All of these plutonic rocks are assigned to the An Nimas batholith.
Younger plutonic rocks include extensive graphic granite and rhyolite in the northeastern part of the quadrangle and several smaller bodies of granitic rocks and of gabbro.
The metavolcanic rocks commonly have strong foliation with northwest strike and steep to vertical dip. Diorite and quartz diorite are sheared and brecciated and apparently syntectonic. Tonalite and quartz diorite are both foliate and nonfoliate and were intruded in episodes both preceding and following shearing. The granitic rocks and gabbro are post-tectonic.
Trends of faults and dikes are mostly related to the Najd faulting episode.
Radiometric ages, mostly from adjacent quadrangles, suggest that the An Nimas batholith is 835 to 800 Ma, gabbro and granite, except the graphic granite and rhyolite unit, are about 640 to 615 Ma, and the graphic granite and rhyolite 575 to 565 Ma old.
Metavolcanic rocks similar to those hosting copper and gold mineralization in the Wadi Shuwas mining district adjacent to the southwestern part of the quadrangle are abundant. An ancient copper mine was discovered at the edge of the tonalite gneiss belt east of Wadi Ranyah. Granite and gabbro have economic potential as building stone.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Reconnaissance geology of the Thaniyah Quadrangle, sheet 20/42 C, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia