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. MahmoudEmail author
  • Anthony E. Williams-Jones
Original Paper


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.


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


  1. Abdel-Rahman AM, El-Kibbi MM (2001) Anorogenic magmatism: chemical evolution of the mountain El-Sibai A-type complex (Egypt), and implications for the origin of within-plate felsic magmas. Geol Mag 138:67–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abu Elatta SA, Assran HM, Ahmed AA (2013) Preliminary study on HFSE mineralization in the peralkaline granites of Nusab El Balgum area, South Western Desert, Egypt. Geomaterials 3:90–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker DR, Vaillancourt J (1995) The low viscosities of F + H2O-bearing granitic melts and implications for melt extraction and transport. Earth Planet Sci Lett 132:199–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bau M, Dulski P (1999) Comparing yttrium and rare earths in hydrothermal fluids from the mid-Atlantic ridge: implications for Y and REE behaviour during near-vent mixing and for the Y/Ho ratio of Proterozoic Sea water. Chem Geol 155:77–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Black R, Lameyer J, Bonin B (1985) The structural setting of alkaline complexes. J Afr Earth Sci 3:5–16Google Scholar
  6. Bowden P (1985) The geochemistry and mineralization of alkaline ring complexes in Africa (a review). J Afr Earth Sci 3:17–39Google Scholar
  7. Browne PRL, Ellis AJ (1970) The Ohaaki-Broadlands hydrothermal area, New Zealand: mineralogy and related geochemistry. Am J Sci 269:97–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boynton WV (1984) Geochemistry of the rare earth elements: meteorite studies; in Rare earth element geochemistry, P. Henderson (ed.), Elsevier 63–114Google Scholar
  9. Clemens JD, Holloway JR, White AJR (1986) Origin of A-type granite: experimental constraints. Am Mineral 71:317–324Google Scholar
  10. Collins WJ, Beams SD, White AJR, Chappell BW (1982) Nature and origin of A-type granites with particular reference to southeastern Australia. Contrib Mineral Petrol 80:189–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Conoco-Corporation LTD (1987) Geological map of south western Desert Egypt. Scale 1:500.000, sheet No NF 53 NV, GilfKabeir Plateau. Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, Cairo, 1987Google Scholar
  12. Cox KG, Bell JD, and Pankhurst RJ (1979) The interpretation of igneous rocks. William Clowes, London, Britain, 414 pCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Creaser RA, Price RC, Wormald RJ (1991) A-type granites revisited: assessment of a residual-source modal. Geology 19:163–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cullers RL, Graf JL (1984) Rare earth elements in igneous rocks of the continental crust: intermediate and silicic rocks-ore petrogenesis, In: Henderson, P. (Ed.), Rare earth element geochemistry, Elsevier 275–316Google Scholar
  15. De Gruyter P, Vogel TA (1981) A model for the origin of the alkaline complexes of Egypt. Nature 291:571–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deng J, Yang X, Sun W, Huang Y, Chi Y, Yu L, Zhang Q (2012) Petrology, geochemistry, and tectonic significance of Mesozoic shoshonitic volcanic rocks, Luzong volcanic basin, eastern China. Int Geol Rev 54(6):714–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eby GN (1992) Chemical subdivision of the A-type granitoids: petrogenetic and tectonic implications. Geology 20:641–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. El Bouseily AM, El Sokkary AA (1975) The relation between Rb, Ba and Sr in granitic rocks. Chem Geol 16:207–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. El Sayed AM, Assran HM, Abu Elatta SA (2014) Petrographic, radiometric and paleomagnetic studies for some alkaline rocks, south Nusab El Balgum mass complex, south Western Desert, Egypt. Geomaterials 4(1):27–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. El-Tohamy AM, Ibrahim ME, El-Kalioby BA, Aly GM, Qurany E (2014) Rare metals mineralization in altered granites at Nusab El Balgum area, Southwestern Desert, Egypt. Stand Sci Res Essays 2(10):495–508Google Scholar
  21. Frost BR, Barnes CG, Colins WJ (2001) A geochemical classification for granitic rocks. J Petrol 42:2033–2048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Frost CD, Frost BR, Bell JM, Chamberlain KR (2002) The relationship between A-type granites and re-sidual magmas from anorthosite: evidence from the northern Sherman batholith, Laramie Mountains, Wyoming, USA. Precambrian Res 119:45–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Green TH (1995) Significance of Nb/Ta as an indicator of geochemical processes in the crust-mantle system. Chem Geol 120(3–4):347–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guiraud R, Doumnang M, baigane JC, Carretier S, Dominguez S (2000) New evidence for a 6000 km length NW–SE-striking lineament in northern Africa: the Tibesti lineament. J Geol Soc Lond 157:897–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gysi AP, Williams-Jones AE (2013) Hydrothermal mobilization of pegmatite-hosted REE and Zr at Strange Lake, Canada: a reaction path model. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 122:324–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Han BF, Wang SG, Jahn BM, Hong DW, Kagami H, Sun YL (1997) Depleted-mantle source for the Ulungur river A-type granites from North Xinjiang, China: geochemistry and Nd–Sr isotopic evidence, and implications for Phanerozoic crustal growth. Chem Geol 138:135–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hay DC, Dempster TJ (2009) Zircon behaviour during low-temperature metamorphism. J Petrol 50(4):571–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ibrahim ME, El-Kalioby BA, Aly GM, El-Tohamy AM, Watanabe K (2015) Altered granitic rocks, Nusab El Balgum area, Southwestern Desert, Egypt: mineralogical and geochemical aspects of REEs. Ore Geol Rev 70:252–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ishikawa Y, Sawagushi T, Jwaya S, Horiuchi M (1976) Delineation of prospecting targets for Kuroko deposits based on modes of volcanism of underlying dacite and alteration holes. Min Geol 26:105–117 ( in Japanese with English abs.)Google Scholar
  30. Issawi B, Francis M, Youssef A, Osman R (2009) The Phanerozoic of Egypt: ageodynamic approach. Geological Survey of Egypt, Special Publication 81: 89Google Scholar
  31. Kerr A, Fryer BJ (1993) Nd isotope evidence for crust-mantle interaction in the generation of A-type granitoidsuites in Labrador, Canada. Chem Geol 104:39–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Landenberger B, Collins WJ (1996) Derivation of A-type granites from a dehydrated charnockitic lower crust: evidence from the Chaelundi complex, eastern Australia. J Petrol 37:145–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Large RR, Gemmell JB, Paulik H (2001) The alteration box plot: a simple approach to understanding the relationship between alteration mineralogy and lithogeochemistry associated with volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits. Econ Geol 96:957–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Li X, Ying L, Hanwen Z, Chiyu L, Min S, Chenhong C (2000) Shonshonitic intrusive suite in SE Guangxi: petrology and geochemistry. Chin Sci Bull 45:653–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Madeisky HE (1996) A lithogeochemical and radiometric study of hydrothermal alteration and metal zoning at the Cinola epithermal gold deposit, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, in Coyner, A.R., and Fahey, P.L., eds., Geology and Ore Deposits of the American Cordillera 3:1153–1185Google Scholar
  36. Maniar PD, Piccoli PM (1989) Tectonic discrimination of granitoids. Geol Soc Am Bull 101:635–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mbowou GIB, Lagmet C, Nomade S, Ngounouno I, Deruelle B, Ohnenstetter D (2012) Petrology of the Late Cretaceous peralkaline rhyolites (pantellerite and comendite) from Lake Chad, Central Africa. J Geosci 57:127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Meyer C, Hemely JJ (1967) Wall rock alterations. In: Barnes HG (ed) Geochemistry of hydrothermal ore deposits. Winston Inc, New York, pp 166–235Google Scholar
  39. Migdisov AA, Williams-Jones AE, Wagner T (2009) An experimental study of the solubility and speciation of the rare earth elements (III) in fluoride- and chloride-bearing aqueous solutions at temperatures up to 300 degrees C. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 73:7087–7109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Migdisov AA, Williams-Jones AE, Van Hinsberg V, Salvi S (2011) An experimental study of the solubility of baddeleyite (ZrO2) in fluoride-bearing solutions at elevated temperature. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 75:7426–7434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Müller D, Rock NMS, Groves DI (1992) Geochemical discrimination between shoshonitic and potassic volcanic rocks in different tectonic settings: a pilot study. Mineral Petrol 46:259–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nagy RM, Ghuma MA, Rogers JJ (1976) A crustal suture and lineaments in North Africa. Tectonophysics 31:67–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nesbitt HW, Young GM (1984) Prediction of some weathering trends of profiles. J Geol 97:129–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nesbitt HW, Young GM (1989) Formation and diagenesis of weathering plutonic and volcanic rocksbased upon thermodynamic and kinetic consideration. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:1523–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. PatiñoDouce AE (1997) Generation of metaluminous A-typegranites by low-pressure melting of calc-alkaline granitoids. Geology 25:743–746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pearce JA (1983) The role of subcontinental lithosphere in the magma genesis at destructive plate margin. In: Hawkes-worth, C. J., Norry, M. J., (Eds.), Continental basalts and mantle xenoliths. Natwich Shiva 230–249Google Scholar
  47. Rayleigh JWS (1996) Theoretical considerations respecting the separation of gases by diffusion and similar processes. Philos Mag 10:42–77Google Scholar
  48. Ringwood AE (1955) The principles governing trace element behaviour during magmatic crystallization. Part II: the role of volcanic rocks. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 7:242–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rogers JJW, Greenberg JK (1981) Trace element in continental margin magmatism: Pt. III Alkali granites and their relationship to the Cratonisation: summary. Bull Geol Soc Am 92:6–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schandl ES, Gorton MP (2002) Application of high field strength elements to discriminate tectonic setting in VMS environments. Econ Geol 97:629–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shandelemeier H, Pudlo D (1990) The Central-African fault zone in Sudan-a possible continental transform fault. Berl Geowiss Abh 120-A:31–44Google Scholar
  52. Shaw DM (1968) A review of K-Rb fractionation trends by covariance analysis. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 32:573–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Singh AK, Vallinayagam G (2003) Geochemistry of the A-type granite from the Kundal area of Malani Igneous Suite, District Barmer, Rajasthan: implications for rare metal mineralization. J Appl Geochem 5:16–25Google Scholar
  54. Suk NI, Kotel’nikov AR, Viryus AA (2013) Crystallization of loparite in alkaline fluid-magmatic systems (from experimental and mineralogical data). Russ Geol Geophys 54:436–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sun SS, McDonough WF (1989) Chemical and isotopic systematics of oceanic basalts: implications for mantle composition and processes. In: Norry, M.J., Saunders, A.D. (Eds.), Magmatism in the ocean basin. Special Publication, Geological Society 42:313–345Google Scholar
  56. van Ruitenbeek FJA (2007) Hydrothermal processes in the Archean: new insights from imaging spectroscopy, ITC dissertation;148 ITC, EnschedeGoogle Scholar
  57. Taylor SR (1965) The application of trace elements data to problems in petrology, physics and chemistry of the earth. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 1–133Google Scholar
  58. Taylor RP, Strong DF, Fryer BJ (1981) Volatile control of contrasting trace element distributions in peralkalinegranitic and volcanic rocks. Contrib Mineral Petrol 77:267–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Taylor SR, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. Black-well Scientific publications, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  60. Taylor SR, McLennan S (1995) The geochemical composition of the continental crust. Rev Geophys 33:241–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Turner SP, Foden JD, Morrison RS (1992) Derivation of some A-type magmas by fractionation of basalticmagma: an example from the Padthaway Ridge, South Australia. Lithos 28:151–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tuttle OF, Bowen NL (1958) Origin of granite in the light of experimental studies in the system NaAlSi3O8-KAlSi3O8-SiO3-H2O. Geol Soc Am Mem 74:1–153Google Scholar
  63. Whalen JB, Currie KL, Chappell BW (1987) A-type granites: geochemical characteristics, discrimination and petrogenesis. Contrib Mineral Petrol 95:407–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Winchester JA, Floyd PA (1977) Geochemical discrimination of different magma series and their differentiation products using immobile elements. Chem Geol 20:325–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wu FY, Sun DY, Li HM, Jahn BM, Wilde S (2002) A-type granites in northeastern China: age and geochemical constraints on their petrogenesis. Chem Geol 187:143–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Warren I, Simmons SF, Mauk JL (2007) Whole-rock geochemical techniques for evaluating hydrothermal alteration, mass changes, and compositional gradients associated with epithermal Au-Ag mineralization. Econ Geol 102(5):923–948CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zaitsev AN, Chakhmouradian AR, Siidra OI, Spratt J, Williams CT, Stanley CJ, Petrov SV, Britvin SN, Polyakova EA (2011) Fluorine-, yttrium- and lanthanide-rich cerianite-(Ce) from carbonatitic rocks of the Kerimasi volcano and surrounding explosion craters, Gregory Rift, northern Tanzania. Mineral Mag 75(6):2813–2822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zhang Z, Xiao X, Wang J, Wang Y, Kusky TM (2008) Post-collisional Plio-Pleistocene shoshonitic volcanism in the western Kunlun Mountains, NW: geochemical constraints on mantle source characteristics and petrogenesis. J Asian Earth Sci 31:379–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations