Origin and evolution of post-collisional magmatism: Coeval Neoproterozoic calc-alkaline and alkaline suites of the Sinai Peninsula Academic Article uri icon


  • Two Late Neoproterozoic post-collisional igneous suites, calc-alkaline (CA) and alkaline–peralkaline (Alk), widely occur in the northernmost part of the Arabian–Nubian Shield. In Sinai (Egypt) and southern Israel they occupy up to 80% of the exposed basement. Recently published U–Pb zircon geochronology indicates a prolonged and partially overlapping CA and Alk magmatism at 635–590 Ma and 608–580 Ma, respectively. Nevertheless in each particular locality CA granitoids always preceded Alk plutons. CA and Alk igneous rocks have distinct chemical compositions, but felsic and mafic rocks in general and granitoids from the two suites in particular cannot be distinguished by their Nd, Sr and O isotope ratios. Both suites are characterized by positive εNd(T) values, from + 1.5 to + 6.0 (150 samples, 28 of them are new analyses), but predominance of juvenile crust in the region prevents unambiguous petrogenetic interpretation of the isotope data. Comparison of geochemical traits of felsic and mafic rocks in each suite suggests a significant contribution of mantle-derived components to the silicic magmas. Model calculation shows that the alkaline granite magma could have been produced by partial (~ 20%) melting of rocks corresponding to K-rich basalts. Material balance further suggests that granodiorite and quartz monzonite magmas of the CA suite could form by mixing of the granite and gabbro end-members at proportions of 85/15. In the Alk suite, alkali feldspar and peralkaline granites have evolved mainly by fractional crystallization of feldspars and a small amount of mafic minerals from a parental syenogranite melt. Thus the protracted, 20 m.y. long, contemporaneous CA and Alk magmatism in the northern ANS requires concurrent tapping of two distinct mantle sources. Coeval emplacement of CA and Alk intrusive suites was described in a number of regions throughout the world.

publication date

  • January 30, 2010