Harrat As Sarat forms the second smallest and southernmost of the basalt fields of western Saudi Arabia and is part of a voluminous Red Sea rift-related continental alkali basalt province. The rocks of the As Sarat were emplaced during the first stage of Red Sea rifting and represent the northernmost extension of the Tertiary Trap Series volcanics that occur mainly in the Yemen Arab Republic and Ethiopia. The field consists of up to 580 m of basalt flows, that are intruded by basaltic plugs, necks, minor dikes, and highly evolved peralkaline trachyte intrusions. K-Ar ages indicate that the As Sarat field formed between 31 and 22 Ma and contains an eruption hiatus of one million years that began about 25 Ma ago. Pre-hiatus flows are primarily hypersthene normative intersertal subalkaline basalt, whereas the majority of post-hiatus flows are nepheline normative alkali basalt and hawaiite with trachytic textures. Normative compositions of the basalts are consistent with their genesis by partial melting at varying depths. Trace element abundances in the basalt indicate that varying degrees of partial melting and fractional crystallization (or crystal accumulation) had major and minor roles, respectively, in development of compositional variation in these rocks. Modeling indicates that the pre-hiatus subalkaline basalts represent 8-10 percent mantle melting at depths of about 70 km and the post-hiatus alkali basalts represent 4-9 percent mantle melting at depths greater than 70 km. ?? 1991.
Additional publication details
Age and petrology of the Tertiary As Sarat volcanic field, southwestern Saudi Arabia