New Nd, Sr and O isotopic data for granitoid rocks of the Saudi Arabian Shield are presented together with published Nd, Pb, Sr and O isotopic data and all available geologic and geochronologic information to re-evaluate the terranes defined for the Saudi Arabian part of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Three groups of terranes are identified: 1) the western arc terranes, 2) the eastern arc terranes, and 3) the Khida terrane. The Khida terrane is the only terrane composed of pre-Neoproterozoic continental crust. The western arc terranes are of oceanic arc affinity, and have the least radiogenic Pb and Sr and most radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions and some of the lowest ??18O values of any rocks of the Saudi Arabian Shield. Although some previous studies have characterized the eastern arc terranes as of continental affinity, this study shows that they too are composed of Neoproterozoic oceanic arcs, although their sources have slightly elevated 208Pb/204Pb, Nd, Sri, and ??18O values compared to the western arc terranes. These data suggest that either the isotopic composition of the mantle source for the western arc terranes is more depleted than that of the eastern arc terranes or the eastern arc terranes have been mixed with a small amount of cratonic source material, or both. We further elaborate on the Hulayfah-Ad Dafinah fault zone as a major boundary within the Saudi Arabian portion of the East African Orogen. With further study, its northern extension may be shown to pass through what has been defined as the Hail terrane, and its southern extension appears to lie under cover east of the Tathlith-Malahah terrane and extend into Yemen. It may represent the collision zone between East and West Gondwana, and at the very least it is an important suture between groups of arc terranes of contrasting isotopic composition caught between two converging continents.
Additional publication details
Nd, Pb, Sr, and O isotopic characterization of Saudi Arabian Shield terranes