The timing of migmatization in the northern Arabian–Nubian Shield: Evidence for a juvenile sedimentary component in collision-related batholiths

Bar Elisha, Yaron Katzir, Andrew R.C. Kylander-Clark, Tzahi Golan, Matthew A. Coble

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12 Scopus citations


Collision-related granitoid batholiths, like those of the Hercynian and Himalayan orogens, are mostly fed by magma derived from metasedimentary sources. However, in the late Neoproterozoic calcalkaline (CA) batholiths of the Arabian–Nubian Shield (ANS), which constitutes the northern half of the East African orogen, any sedimentary contribution is obscured by the juvenile character of the crust and the scarcity of migmatites. Here, we use paired in situ LASS-ICP-MS measurements of U–Th–Pb isotope ratios and REE contents of monazite and xenotime and SHRIMP-RG analyses of separated zircon to demonstrate direct linkage between migmatites and granites in the northernmost ANS. Our results indicate a single prolonged period of monazite growth at 640–600 Ma, in metapelites, migmatites and peraluminous granites of three metamorphic suites: Abu-Barqa (SW Jordan), Roded (S Israel) and Taba–Nuweiba (Sinai, Egypt). The distribution of monazite dates and age zoning in single monazite grains in migmatites suggest that peak thermal conditions, involving partial melting, prevailed for c. 10 Ma, from 620 to 610 Ma. REE abundances in monazite are well correlated with age, recording garnet growth and garnet breakdown in association with the prograde and retrograde stages of the melting reactions, respectively. Xenotime dates cluster at 600–580 Ma, recording retrogression to greenschist facies conditions as garnet continued to destabilize. Phase equilibrium modelling and mineral thermobarometry yield P–T conditions of ~650–680°C and 5–7 kbar, consistent with either water-fluxed or muscovite-breakdown melting. The expected melt production is 8–10 vol.%, allowing a melt connectivity network to form leading to melt segregation and extraction. U–Pb ages of zircon rims from leucosomes indicate crystallization of melt at 610 ± 10 Ma, coinciding with the emplacement of a vast volume of CA granites throughout the northern ANS, which were previously considered post-collisional. Similar monazite ages (c. 620 Ma) retrieved from the amphibolite facies Elat schist indicate that migmatites are the result of widespread regional rather than local contact metamorphism, representing the climax of the East African orogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-610
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Arabian–Nubian Shield
  • migmatites
  • monazite–xenotime–zircon petrochronology
  • syn-collisional batholiths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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