Comprehensive U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology of Ediacaran sandstones from Oman indicates that they originated from Neoproterozoic basement with a peak magmatic age of ca. 850–780 Ma (Tonian), with lesser Paleoproterozoic and Ediacaran sources and renewed magmatic input starting at ca. 550 Ma. Comparison with detrital zircons from the Arabian-Nubian and NW Indian Shields supports an eastern Gondwana affinity for the Ediacaran succession of Oman. Tonian basement sediment sources are present in Oman. Sources for older Paleoproterozoic zircons (ca. 2500 and 1800 Ma) are not found in Oman but are known from the cratonic Indian Shield. The signal of the main magmatic events of the juvenile Arabian-Nubian Shield, peaking at ca. 640–620 Ma, is rare or absent in the Ediacaran rock succession of Oman. However, deformed Ediacaran clastic units with an Arabian-Nubian Shield affinity occur in western Oman. Influx of latest Ediacaran–early Cambrian zircons (550–525 Ma) is interpreted as due to final Cambrian Angudan/Malagasy orogeny-related magmatism.

These results, together with new ages for volcano-sedimentary terranes in the subsurface of SW Oman and seismic observations, support the interpretation that the Ediacaran succession of Oman was deposited along the western, passive margin of the Greater Indian Shield, on the eastern (east and west in this paper refer to present-day coordinates) side of the Mozambique Ocean. Oman then collided with the Arabian-Nubian Shield in the early Cambrian, when the Angudan/Malagasy orogeny led to final consolidation of Gondwana. Our data support the inference that the youngest and final suture between the Indian and Arabian Shields lies in the subsurface of Oman along the early Cambrian western deformation front.

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