Geology of the Ishmas gold district, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Open-File Report 90-303



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The Ishmas gold district was mapped at 1:25,000 scale to place auriferous mineralization into geologic perspective, to assist in creating an ore-deposit model, and to aid in devising a strategy for subsequent exploration elsewhere in the Jabal Ishmas-Wadi Tathlith gold belt. The precratonic evolution of the district began with the deposition of a tholeiitic mafic volcanic and volcaniclastic sequence that was intruded by diabase and gabbro. Basaltic to rhyodacitic volcanism following a calc-alkaline evolutionary trend ensued. Subsequent deposition of a thick wacke and sandstone unit represented the final phase in the volcano sedimentary accumulation. The emplacement of a large lopolithic layered-gabbro complex marked the end of the precratonic evolutionary cycle. The district coincides with the boundary of two allochthonous terranes. The collisional Nabitah orogeny represents the suturing of the two terranes. The effects of this event are manifested by numerous north-trending, steeply dipping faults, shear zones, and mylonite belts, as well as diapiric serpentinite. During the waning stages of the orogeny, auriferous quartz pods were precipitated in dilatant structures within the north-trending shear zones by deep-seated circulating fluids. The emplacement of a tonalite stock was closely followed by the formation of N. 20°-35° W. -trending faults. These faults influenced the emplacement of dacite porphyry stocks and associated auriferous quartz veins. The auriferous veins are massive, tabular open-fracture fillings that are spatially, temporally, and genetically related to the dacite porphyry. The emplacement of a quartz monzodiorite stock was responsible for additional auriferous quartz vein mineralization that is almost exclusively hosted by the intrusion. A nearly random orientation of the veins indicates that no regional structure influenced their formation. The formation of a series of N. 60°-80° W -trending faults represents the final episode in the district's geologic history and corresponds to the cratonic reactivation that affected a large part of the Arabian Shield (that is, the Najd faulting event). 

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USGS Numbered Series
Geology of the Ishmas gold district, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
40 p. (2 plates folded in pocket, 8 figures, 36 p. of text)
Saudi Arabia
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