SHRIMP zircon dating and Sm/Nd isotopic investigations of Neoproterozoic granitoids, Eastern Desert, Egypt

Ewais M.M. Moussa, Robert J. Stern, William I. Manton, Kamal A. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


There is an increasing evidence for the involvement of pre-Neoproterozoic zircons in the Arabian-Nubian Shield, a Neoproterozoic crustal tract that is generally regarded to be juvenile. The source and significance of these xenocrystic zircons are not clear. In an effort to better understand this problem, older and younger granitoids from the Egyptian basement complex were analyzed for chemical composition, SHRIMP U-Pb zircon ages, and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions. Geochemically, the older granitoids are metaluminous and exhibit characteristics of I-type granites and most likely formed in a convergent margin (arc) tectonic environment. On the other hand, the younger granites are peraluminous and exhibit the characteristics of A-type granites; these are post-collisional granites. The U-Pb SHRIMP dating of zircons revealed the ages of magmatic crystallization as well as the presence of slightly older, presumably inherited zircon grains. The age determined for the older granodiorite is 652.5 ± 2.6 Ma, whereas the younger granitoids are 595-605 Ma. Xenocrystic zircons are found in most of the younger granitoid samples; the xenocrystic grains are all Neoproterozoic, but fall into three age ranges that correspond to the ages of other Eastern Desert igneous rocks, viz. ∼710-690, ∼675-650 and ∼635-610 Ma. The analyzed granitoids have ε{lunate}Ndt (+3.8 to +6.5) and crystallization ages, which confirm previous indications that the Arabian-Nubian Shield is juvenile Neoproterozoic crust. These results nevertheless indicate that older Neoproterozoic crust contributed to the formation of especially the younger granite magmas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabian-Nubian Shield
  • Egypt
  • Granite
  • Neoproterozoic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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