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40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb SIMS zircon ages of Ediacaran dikes from the Arabian-Nubian Shield of south Jordan

March 20, 2020

A spectacular feature of the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS) is the abundance of well-exposed and extensive Neoproterozoic dike swarms of multiple generations. These dikes are generally categorized into metamorphosed and unmetamorphosed post-orogenic dike swarms. The unmetamorphosed dikes in the northern ANS can be grouped into an old and young generations. We dated three dikes from the old generation of the unmetamorphosed dikes: a composite dike with latite margins and rhyolite core (607 ± 6 Ma, U-Pb), a biotite rhyolite dike (600 ± 4 Ma, 40Ar/39Ar age of biotite) and an andesite dike (594 ± 3, 40Ar/39Ar age of amphibole). We propose that these dikes representing the old generation were emplaced at different episodes extending approximately between 607 and 590 Ma. Time and composition equivalent plutonic rocks are common in Jordan and the northern ANS. These dikes crosscut the late to post-collisional granitoids and display a subduction-related character as evidenced from the Nb-Ta anomaly, suggesting a transitional magmatic activity from the orogenic to extensional environment. This generation of dikes is absent in the alkali feldspar A-type granite dated at 586 ± 5 Ma in Jordan and equivalent rocks in the northern ANS, which are crosscut only by the dolerite dikes which has an approximate crystallization age of ~579 Ma (40Ar/39Ar whole rock total gas age). Their within-plate character is supported by the absence of the Nb-Ta anomaly and the high field strength elements tectonic discrimination plots. We propose that these dolerite dikes represent the last Neoproterozoic igneous activity in the northern ANS, i.e. the magmatic activity was terminated ~50 m.y. before the estimated age of the Ram Unconformity at ~530 Ma. This age is in agreement with a previously suggested model of mantle lithosphere delamination from below the northern ANS after a significant crust-mantle thickening caused by the East African Orogeny. The thickening triggered exceptionally rapid uplift, followed by erosional unroofing of the ANS rocks, some lateral extension, and post-orogenic magmatic activity. This was followed by thermal relaxation and subsidence and the gradual denudation, erosion, and peneplanation that gradually developed until the approximate age of the unconformity at ~530 Ma.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb SIMS zircon ages of Ediacaran dikes from the Arabian-Nubian Shield of south Jordan
DOI 10.1016/j.precamres.2020.105714
Authors Hind Ghanem, Ryan J. McAleer, Ghaleb Jarrar, Mu'ayyad Al Hseinat, Martin Whitehouse
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Precambrian Research
Index ID 70210265
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Florence Bascom Geoscience Center