Three successive Proterozoic island arcs in the Northern Arabian-Nubian Shield: Evidence from SIMS U-Pb dating of zircon

Moshe Eyal, Yaron Be'eri-Shlevin, Yehuda Eyal, Martin J. Whitehouse, Boris Litvinovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Four isolated metamorphic complexes located within post-collisional granitoids occupying up to 70% of the total area, were distinguished in Sinai (Egypt) and Elat area (southern Israel), the northernmost part of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. The metamorphic rocks include metasediments, felsic and mafic metavolcanic rocks intruded by granitic, dioritic, and gabbroic plutons, all subjected to penetrative deformation.We present new SIMS U-Pb dating of zircons from 13 rock units comprising metasediments, volcanic rocks, gneisses and plutons from three metamorphic complexes (Sa'al, Feiran-Solaf, and Kid). In addition we present a SIMS U-Pb titanite age of a granitic gneiss previously dated using zircon. On the basis of the new and published U-Pb data, three successive Meso- to Neoproterozoic island arcs formed during a period of ca. 500. My are recognized. The Sa'al arc (represented by the oldest arc rocks in the ANS) evolved from 1.03 to 0.93. Ga (100. My); the Feiran-Elat arc developed from ca. 870 to 740. Ma (130. My), and the Kid arc formed from ca. 640 to 620. Ma (20. My). Evidence for an older, ca. 1.1. Ga, pre-Sa'al island arc was established from the zircon xenocryst population, though no exposures of rocks of this age were found. In the Sa'al and Kid arcs both volcanic and sedimentary rocks are preserved, whereas in the Elat-Feiran arc volcanic rocks are missing. We suggest that at ~. 700. Ma the Elat-Feiran arc was subjected to rifting that resulted in separating of the Qenaia block and its movement to the SE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-357
Number of pages20
JournalGondwana Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Island arcs
  • Northernmost Arabian-Nubian Shield
  • Sinai
  • Southern Israel
  • Zircon U-Pb dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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