Chemical analyses of samples for 19 postorogenic plutons from the southeastern Arabian Shield show that these rocks have average potassium/rubidium ratios (162) and average rubidium/strontium ratios (11.8) characteristic of highly evolved granites. Most of the analyzed samples are peraluminous. Three plutons are physically similar in terms of shape and megascopic textural zonation to peralkaline complexes in the northeastern part of the Shield, but none of the samples from these plutons is peralkaline. However, these plutons do contain the least-evolved samples.
Zinc, yttrium, uranium, thorium, and possibly copper, each occur in anomalously high concentrations in at least one pluton relative to contents typically cited for granite. The average regional concentrations of copper and zinc are anomalously high. These facts suggest at least a moderate potential for mineralization in the southeastern part of the Shield. Good correlations (r of 0.5 to 0.8) between uranium, thorium, yttrium, and rubidium and an excellent correlation (r=0.98) between uranium and radium-equivalent uranium suggest that secondary deposits of these elements are unlikely and that magmatic deposits, especially of a pegmatitic nature, are more likely.
Concentrations of some major elements and several trace elements covary with sample location as measured by latitude and longitude. This fact is interpreted to reflect regional variations in the protolith that have been proposed on the basis of lead isotopic data. The chemical variations suggest a largely oceanic crustal component for granites in the southwestern part of the southeastern Shield and a largely continental crustal component to the northeast.
Further quantitative analysis is recommended to verify and accurately delineate anomalous concentrations of trace elements. Trend surface analysis of all available data for postorogenic granites from the eastern Arabian Shield is suggested as a method for testing regional variations in the protolith that might control locations of highly favorable areas of ore deposition.
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USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary assessment of the geochemistry and mineral favorability of the postorogenic granites of the southeastern Arabian Shield, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia