Saudi Arabia


    New geological map, including explanatory notes, of  Saudi Arabia by Peter Johnson; TECHNICAL REPORT SGS-TR-2006-4 1427 H 2006 G

    The 'Explanatory Notes' is a  Technical Report prepared by the Saudi Geological Survey, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    The work on which the report is based was performed in support of Saudi Geological Survey Subproject Compilation and updating of the Arabian shield digital map. It has been edited and reviewed by staff of the Saudi Geological Survey. Product names used in this report are for descriptive purposes and in no way imply endorsement by SGS.
    This report is a product of the Saudi Geological Survey; if the information herein is used in any form, either quoted or paraphrased, this report should be properly cited using the full serial number, the author's name(s), and the year of publication. The correct citation for this report is:
                                                        Johnson, P.R., 2006, Explanatory notes to the map of Proterozoic geology of western Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2006-4, 62 p., 22 figs., 2 plates.
    In common with most reports produced by the Saudi Geological Survey, this report is available for sale to the public in hard copy format or on CD in PDF format. Please contact the SGS Publications Center at the address in Jeddah below for more information.
    Saudi Geological Survey Post Office Box 54141, Jeddah 21514; Tel. (966-2) 619-5000
    Saudi Geological Survey-Riyadh Office, Post Office Box 6955, Riyadh 11452, Tel. (966-1) 476-5000  

    Geology of the Al_Amar_Idsas region of Saudi Arabia, 1980

    Geology of the Jabal Ess region of Saudi Arabia, 1982 - see following to obtain a Google Earth .kmz file with geological locations of rock types present in the Jabal Ess region (after SHANTI, M. (1983).  The Jabal Ess ophiolite complex. Bull. Fac. Earth. Sci. King Abdulaziz Univ., 6, pp. 289-317. )

    Google Earth - Arabian-Nubian (Sudan) Shield Click to download a Google Earth .zip file containing a .kmz file of geological locations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan, accompanied by stretch georegistered versions of the Saudi Geological Survey terrane and structural trend maps (see below), a number of map overlays for the Al Amar - Idsas region, including the relevant part of the NEW GEOLOGICAL MAP by Peter Johnson (see NEW, above); overlays of maps of various ophiolite localities (PETER R. JOHNSON, FAYEK H. KATTAN AND AHMED M. AL-SALEH, 2004. NEOPROTEROZOIC OPHIOLITES IN THE ARABIAN SHIELD: FIELD RELATIONS AND STRUCTURE, in  Precambrian Ophiolites and Related Rocks Edited by Timothy M. Kusky, Developments in Precambrian Geology, Vol. 13, and a map of the Red Sea Hills of Northern Sudan by J.R. Vail (1981)


    The following diagrams are taken from the Saudi Geological web page at : 



TECTONIC TERRANES                                                         STRUCTURAL TRENDS





Some papers published since 1987:

        Johnson, P.R., 2004 , Proterozoic geology of western Saudi Arabia Northwestern sheet (digital version): Saudi Geological Survey Open-File Report.
        Johnson, P.R., Abdelsalam, M.G., and Stern, R.J., 2003, The Bir Umq-Nakasib suture zone in the Arabian-Nubian Shield: A key to understanding crustal growth in the East African Orogen: Gondwana Research, v. 6, p. 523-530.
        Johnson, P.R., and Woldehaimanot, B., 2003, Development of the Arabian-Nubian Shield: perspectives on accretion and deformation in the northern East African Orogen and the assembly of Gondwana: Geological Society, London Special Publications, v. 206, p. 289-325.
        Volesky, J.C., Stern, R.J., and Johnson, P.R., 2003, Geological control of massive sulfide mineralization in the Neoproterozoic Wadi Bidah Belt shear zone, southern Saudi Arabia: inferences from orbital remote sensing and field studies: Precambrian Research, v. 123, p. 235-247.
        Johnson, P.R., Kattan, F.H., and Al-Saleh, A.M., 2003, Neoproterozoic ophiolites in the Arabian shield: Field relations and structure: Saudi Geological Survey Open-file Report SGS-OF-2003-1, 29 p.
        Johnson, P.R., 2003, Post-amalgamation basins of the NE Arabian shield and implications for Neoproterozoic III tectonism in the northern East African orogen: Precambrian Research, v. 123, p. 321-337.
        Genna, A., Nehlig, P., Le Goff, E., Guerrot, C., and Shanti, M., 2002. Proterozoic tectonism of the Arabian Shield: Precambrian Research, v. 117, p. 21-40.
        Genna, A.; Nehlig, P.; Le Goff, E., and others Proterozoic tectonism of the Arabian Shield. Precambrian Research 117, no. 1-2 (2002 07 31): 21-40
        Neumayr, P.; Hoinkes, G.; Puhl, J. The Migif-Hafafit gneissic complex of the Egyptian Eastern Desert; fold interference patterns involving multiply deformed sheath folds. Tectonophysics 346, no. 3-4 (2002 03 15): 247-275
        Zahran, H.M., Stewart, I.C.F., Johnson, P.R., and Basahel, M.H., 2002, Aeromagnetic anomaly map of central and western Saudi Arabia, 4 sheets, 1:2 million: Saudi Geological Survey Open-File Report SGS-OF-2002-8.
        Fowler, T. J.; Osman, A. F. Gneiss-cored interference dome associated with two phases of late Pan-African thrusting in the central Eastern Desert, Egypt. Precambrian Research 108, no. 1-2 (20010501): 17-43
        Johnson, P.R., Kattan, F.H., and Wooden, J.L., 2001, Implications of SHRIMP and microstructural data on the age and kinematics of shearing in the Asir Terrane, southern Arabian shield, Saudi Arabia: Gondwana Research, v. 4, p. 172-173.
        Johnson, P.R., and Kattan, F.H., 2001, Oblique sinistral transpression in the Arabian shield: the timing and kinematics of a Neoproterozoic suture zone: Precambrian Research, v. 107, p. 117-138.
        Loizenbauer, Juergen; Wallbrecher, E.; Fritz, H., and others Structural geology, single zircon ages and fluid inclusion studies of the Meatiq metamorphic core complex; implications for Neoproterozoic tectonics in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Assembly and breakup of Rodinia Precambrian Research 110, no. 1-4 (200108): 357-383
        Whitehouse, M.J., Stoeser, D.B., and Stacey, J.S. 2001. The Khida terrane - geochronological and isotopic for Paleoproterozoic and Archean crust in the eastern Arabian Shield of Saudi Arabia. In Diva, R.S. and Yoshida, M., Tectonics and Mineralization in the Arabian Shield and its Extensions. IGCP 368 International Conference Abstracts, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Gondwana Research, 4, 200-202.
        El-Sayed, M. M.; Furnes, H.; Hassanen, M. A., and others. 1999. Crustal evolution of the Egyptian Shield; a proposed new geotectonic model. Geological Society of America, 1999 Annual meeting Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America 31, no. 7, p. 179
        Stern, R. J.;  Abdelsalam, M. G. Univ. Texas at Dallas, Center Lithospheric Studies, Richardson, TX, United States Formation of juvenile continental crust in the Arabian-Nubian Shield; evidence from granitic rocks of the Nakasib Suture, NE Sudan. Geologische Rundschau 87, no. 1 (1998): 150-160
        Stern and Kroener. University of Texas at Dallas, Programs in Geosciences, Richardson, TX, United States; Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet, Federal Republic of Germany. Late Precambrian crustal evolution in NE Sudan; isotopic and geochronologic constraints. Journal of Geology 101, no. 5 (1993 09): 555-574
        Kroener, A.; Todt, W.; Hussein, I. M., and others Universitaet Mainz, Institut fuer Geowissenschaften, Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany; Max-Planck-Institut fuer Chemie, Federal Republic of Germany; Geological Research Authority, Sudan; Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority, Egypt. Dating of late Proterozoic ophiolites in Egypt and the Sudan using the single grain zircon evaporation technique. Precambrian Research 59, no. 1-2 (1992, 11): 15-32
        Stern and Dawoud; Univ. Tex. at Dallas, Programs Geosci., Dallas, TX, United States; Univ. Khartoum, Sudan. Late Precambrian (740 Ma) charnockite, enderbite, and granite from Jebel Moya, Sudan; a link between the Mozambique Belt and the Arabian-Nubian Shield? Journal of Geology 99, no. 5 (199109): 649-659
        Sultan, M., Chamberlain, K.R., Bowring, S.A., and Arvidson, R.E. 1990. Geochronologic and isotopic evidence for involvement of pre-Pan-African crust in the Nubian Shield, Egypt. Geology, 18, 764-761.
        W.R. Church, 1988. Ophiolites, sutures, and micro-plates of the Arabian-Nubian Shield: a critical comment, p. 289-316 in El-Gaby, S., and Greiling, R.O., eds., The Pan-African belt of Northeast Africa and adjacent areas; Tectonic evolution and economic aspects of a Late Proterozoic orogen, Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden  
        Kroner, A., Stern, R.B., et al. 1987. The Pan-African continental margin of northern Africa: evidence from a geochronological study of granulites at Sabaloka, Sudan. EPSL, 85, 91-104.

         Published age dates for the Arabian - Nubian Shield:

523 Um Aud diorite (unpublished)
575 Rb-Sr, 579 zircon - Gebel Qattar granite (Stern and Hedge, 1985)
578 +/-15 - Nakhil Granite (Sultan et al. 1990)
580-570 - the Jibalah group deposited in small, isolated, pull-apart basins caused by strike- and dip-slip movements on faults of the Najd fault system.
583? Gattarian granites
583 Salah El Belih granodiorite (571 Rb-Sr) cuts the Hammamat (Stern and Hedge 1985)
585 +/- 13 Hammamat; youngest detrital ziron; U-Pb age peaks at 640and 680 Ma;
also 750 to 2630
585 +/-15 R-Sr Hammamat (Willis et al. 1988)
589 +/-9 - Rb-Sr dikes cutting the G Qattar granite
590 +/-11 Um Had granite (Ries and Darbyshire, unpub) cuts the Hammamat
592 +/-26 Rb-Sr Dokhan Gebel Dokhan (Stern & Hedge 1985)
593 +/-13 - youngest Dokhan volcanics (Wilde and Youssef, 2000);
602 +/-9 - oldest Dokhan volcanics (Wilde and Youssef, 2000);
606 - Hadabah pluton 606 2 Ma Shearing on the Ibran shear zone in the central part of the terrane, constrained by the age of the Hadabah pluton, may have occurred as late as 605 Ma.
610 - Ar/Ar amphibole Ar Ridaniyah shear zone
610 - movement on the Umm Farwah shear zone, which cuts the eastern margin of the Ablah group, occurred about 610 Ma or later.
613 - Ablah group rhyolite. 613 7 Ma (but see 641 below);
* 616 +/-9 Dokhan? at Wadi Sodmein (Ries and Darbyshire, unpub)
*********634 zircon maxima in Hammamat H2
639 - Tathlith gneiss. Crops out on either side of the Nabitah fault zone, represent magmatic events approximately 100 million years later than the Tabalah shearing. Zircons from these plutons range in age from 710-361 Ma and 711-451 Ma, respectively, suggesting complex evolutionary and isotopic histories, including inheritance and lead loss. ****************************************************************************************************************
641 - age of rhyolite in the Ablah molasse basin;
620-640 - the Jurdhawiyah group and Hibshi formations were deposited in fault controlled basin (isolated fault-controlled lake). East-west convergence conceivably accounts for the creation of the Jurdhawiyah and Hibshi basins as a result of concomitant northward extension or tectonic escape. Basins closed and inverted during subsequent north-south shortening and north- and south-vergent reverse faulting.
640 - Ash Shawhatah pluton 640 3 Ma The Ash Shawhatah pluton (ID# 7) intrudes the Nabitah fault zone, indicating cessation of Nabitah orogeny ductile deformation in the eastern part of the terrane by 640 Ma, although brittle deformation occurred after 640 Ma, as evidenced by faulting at the contact of the granite.
645 - Ar Rayn Trondhjemite
646 - Junaynah granite 646 10 Ma The Junaynah granite (ID# 4) has undergone brittle deformation by the Junaynah fault zone, and is considered as an evidence for brittle deformation in the central part of the terrane after about 645 Ma, comparable to the brittle faulting on the Nabitah fault zone.
********* 646 zircon maxima in Hammamat
650 - The basins were closed and inverted by folding. Northerly trend of Murdama and Bani Ghayy folds implies bulk east-west shortening.
650 - Ar Rayn tonalite
651 -Abss granodiorite 651 4 Ma The Abss granodiorite and Tathlith gneiss which crop out on either side of the Nabitah fault zone, represent magmatic events approximately 100 million years later than the Tabalah shearing (>755 ma). Zircons from these plutons range in age from 710-361 Ma and 711-451 Ma, respectively, suggesting complex evolutionary and isotopic histories, including inheritance and lead loss. The Abss and Tathlith results in Table 1 are preferred formation ages, implying that the plutons belong to the suite of syn-Nabitah orogeny intrusions well known in the eastern part of the terrane (Stoeser and Stacey, 1988).
654 - Musayrah pluton 654 3 Ma The Musayrah pluton has the same age, within error, as the Abss granodiorite. It intrudes the Abss granodiorite, but is evidently part of the same Nabitah -654orogeny magmatic event as the granodiorite.
650-670 - 8000 m sandstone, conglomerate, bimodal volcanic rocks, and limestone(Murdama basin) and in narrow grabens (Bani Ghayy basins). Possibly >10 km uplift and erosion in parts of the region prior to deposition. Much of the region was at a low elevation soon after terraneamalgamation and orogeny. The two basins are foreland basins at subsided and extended parts of a newly amalgamated crust in the center of the study area that was downflexed by the overthrusting of an ophiolite complex and other terranes from the east.
667 - Ar Rayn trondhjemite
******** *671, 693 zircon maxima in Hammamat H1 and H2, respectively (Wilde & Youssef 2002)
686 +/- 56 Rb-Sr Dokhan? volcanics at Gebel Nuqrah (Stern & Hedge 1985)
685 +/- 16 (Wilde & Youssef, 2000) upper Dokhan weighted mean inherited zircon cores
690 single grain zircon with inheritance of 1.9-2.1; Uweinat, Gebel El Asr (Sultan et al. 1994)

694 - Urdd ophiolite
710-725 Midyan diorite; tonalite
711 - tonalite, Dixon 1981, Um Samiuki area
712 - Shadli (Um Samiuki) volcanics of southern Egypt (Stern et al. 1991)
720 - lower intercept (down to 663 Ma) of 2650-1065 Sabaloka granulite gneiss & migmatite
(Kroner et al 1987)
720 - lower intercept Duweishat 2.6 -1.23 gneisses (Wadi Halfa) (Stern et al. 1994)
728-782 Al Qarah tonalite
731 - Murat tonalite
740 - Late Precambrian (740 Ma) charnockite, enderbite, and granite from Jebel Moya, Sudan; a link between the Mozambique Belt and the Arabian-Nubian Shield
740 - Al Wask gabbros
743 +/-24 Al Wask, Sm/Nd age, Claesson, Pallister and Tatsumoto 1984
743 (Ledru) - 696 (Pallister) - Jar and Salajah tonalites
750 age of Nubian Wadi Gerf ophiolite, Eastern Desert
*********750 zircon maxima in Hammamat , both H1 and H2
750 - Siham arc (Khida region) (Whitehouse et al. 2001) old ages of 2.6-2.4, 1.9-1.65, 950-800
755 - Al Khalij pluton 755 7 Ma, intrudes the Tabalah shear zone. Its age indicates that shearing occurred prior to 755 Ma and defines, in the west-central part of the terrane, the earliest deformation event documented. 760-780 Ma. The shear zone dates the onset of arc-arc convergence in what eventually became the Arabian-Nubian shield. Marks the beginning of the complex, heterogeneous process of terrane amalgamation and continental accretion that led to the eventual convergence of East and West Gondwana.
760 - lead loss Al-Mahfid 2550 granite gneiss with older components at 2938-2730;
coeval granite sheets (Whitehouse et al. 1998)
768 +/-61 - Abu Swayel (S&H, 1985), rhyodacite
779 +/-4 Um Ba'anib granite gneiss (Meatiq; has 1149 Ma orthoamphibolite xenolith)
(Loizenbauer et al 2001) 788 +/-13 sediments overlying Meatiq gneiss
780 - J. Ess ophiolite (782+/-38, Sm/Nd age, Claesson, Pallister and Tatsumotom 1984)
**********804 , 823 zircon maxima in Hammamat H1 and H2 respectively
821 Iqwaq tonalite
816-847 Asir Terrane arc.
820-870 Ma - the Bir Umq-Nakasib suture zone, 5-65 km wide and over 600 km long.
900 - Abas terrane (Yemen) zircons w. weighted average age of 939+/-47; inherited core 2605+/-15
also met at 760 (Whitehouse et al 1998)
945 - Rabigh (Asir)
*********962 zircon maxima in Hammamat