Geochemistry, geochronology, and Sr-Nd isotopes of the Late Neoproterozoic Wadi Kid volcano-sedimentary rocks, Southern Sinai, Egypt: Implications for tectonic setting and crustal evolution

Abdel Kader M. Moghazi, Kamal A. Ali, Simon A. Wilde, Qin Zhou, Tom Andersen, Arild Andresen, Mahrous M. Abu El-Enen, Robert J. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


The Kid Group is one of the few exposures of Neoproterozoic metavolcano-sedimentary rocks in the basement of southern Sinai in the northernmost Arabian-Nubian Shield. It is divided into the mostly metamorphosed volcaniclastic Melhaq and siliciclastic Um Zariq formations in the north and the mostly volcanic Heib and Tarr formations in the south. The Heib, Tarr, and Melhaq formations reflect an intense episode of igneous activity and immature clastic deposition associated with core-complex formation during Ediacaran time, but Um Zariq metasediments are relicts of an older (Cryogenian) sedimentary sequence. The latter yielded detrital zircons with concordant ages as young as 647±12Ma, which may indicate that the protolith of Um Zariq schist was deposited after ~647Ma but 19 concordant zircons gave a 206Pb/ 238U weighted mean age of 813±6Ma, which may represent the maximum depositional age of this unit. In contrast, a cluster of 11 concordant detrital zircons from the Melhaq Formation yield a weighted mean 206Pb/ 238U age of 615±6Ma. Zircons from Heib Formation rhyolite clast define a 206Pb/ 238U weighted mean age of 609±5Ma, which is taken to approximate the age of Heib and Tarr formation volcanism. Intrusive syenogranite sample from Wadi Kid yields a 206Pb/ 238U weighted mean age of 604±5Ma. These constraints indicate that shallow-dipping mylonites formed between 615±6Ma and 604±5Ma. Geochemical data for volcanic samples from the Melhaq and Heib formations and the granites show continuous major and trace element variations corresponding to those expected from fractional crystallization. The rocks are enriched in large ion lithophile and light rare earth elements, with negative Nb anomalies. These reflect magmas generated by melting of subduction-modified lithospheric mantle, an inference that is further supported by εNd(t)=+2.1 to +5.5. This mantle source obtained its trace element characteristics by interaction with fluids and melts from subducting oceanic crust during the Late Cryogenian time, prior to terminal collision between fragments of East and West Gondwana at ~630Ma. Positive εNd(t) values and the absence of pre-Ediacaran zircons in all but Um Zariq metasediments indicate minor interaction with Cryogenian and older crust. A model of extensional collapse following continental collision, controlled mainly by lithospheric delamination and slab break-off is suggested for the origin of the post-collision volcanics and granites at Wadi Kid. No evidence of pre-Neoproterozoic sources was found. Kid Group Ediacaran volcanic rocks are compositionally and chronologically similar to the Dokhan Volcanics of NE Egypt, which may be stratigraphic equivalents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-165
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabian-Nubian Shield
  • Neoproterozoic
  • Sinai
  • Sr-Nd isotopes
  • U-Pb zircon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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