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Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, 11:556 | Cite as

Mineralogy and geochemistry studies on the Nusab El Balgum granitic batches, South Western Desert, Egypt

  • Soliman Abu Elatta A. Mahmoud
  • Anthony E. Williams-Jones
Original Paper
  • 162 Downloads

Abstract

Igneous rocks of Nusab El Balgum are formed as an elongated complex mass covering an area of about 4 km × 12.5 km (50 km2), in the NNE-SSW direction of the Tarfawi-Qena-South Sinai trend, which is a branch of the Trans-African shear zone at the intersection with the Kalabsha fault, which is a branch from Guinean-Nubian lineaments. The continuous reactivation of these two major weakness zones from the late Triassic to recent times has created many generations of the magma batches. The exposed granitic rocks of these batches at Nusab El Balgum were represented by the fresh peralkaline granite (youngest) and hydrothermally altered granites (oldest). The fresh peralkaline granite takes the form of a small stock composed essentially of perthites, quartz, sodic pyroxenes, amphiboles (secondary), and rare albite according to the proportion of presence, respectively. The accessory minerals are zircon, bastnaesite-(Ce), columbite-(Fe), magnetite, barite, and sphalerite. The geochemical study indicated that this granite is peralkaline, ferroan, A-type (specifically belongs to the A1-subgroup), anorogeny, emplaced in a within-plate, and crystallized at relatively shallow depth from the alkali basaltic magma similar to the OIBs. Furthermore, it is enriched in the HFSE (e.g., Th, U, Nb, REE, and Zr). The hydrothermally altered granites are formed as an incomplete ring shape and a small stock. They were formed during the late Cretaceous age and were altered due to the hydrothermal solutions from the continuous reactivation affected weakness zones and the new magmatic batches. The hydrothermally altered granites are extremely rich in HFSE found in the accessory minerals such as zircon (different in shape, size, and contains inclusions of bastnaesite and columbite), columbite-(Fe&Mn), rare gittinsite, pyrochlore minerals (ceriopyrochlore and plumbopyrochlore) carlosbarbosaite, changbaiite, bastnaesite-(Ce), monazite-(Ce), stetindite, cerianite-(Ce), thorite, and uranothorite. These rocks were subjected to many highly superimposed hydrothermal alteration types, including propylitic, sericitic, potassic, silicification, argillic, and Fe-Mn oxy-hydroxides. The hydrothermal solutions with low temperatures and containing F1− and CO32−, PO43− and H2O caused redistribution; transportation and redeposition of the HFSE in these rocks, in addition to the clay minerals and K-metasomatism, were formed. The relations between the silicification index (SI = SiO2/(SiO2 + Al2O3) and Zr, Nb, Th, U, LREE, and HREE are positive but they become negative with the K-metasomatism.

Keywords

Nusab El Balgum Guinean-Nubian lineament Peralkaline Trans-African shear zone HFSE K-metasomatism 

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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soliman Abu Elatta A. Mahmoud
    • 1
  • Anthony E. Williams-Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuclear Materials AuthorityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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