Abstract

The Late Proterozoic (830 ± 20 Ma) Darb Zubaydah ophiolite, north-central Arabian Shield, preserves a largely intact section consisting of ultramafic rocks, gabbro, diabase, granodiorite, and interbedded volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Formation of these rocks within or near an island arc is indicated by the absence of pelagic sediments and the abundance of pillow basalt, turbiditic sediments, lahar deposits, and basaltic to rhyolitic tuff. The oldest extrusive rocks, which range from tholeiites with MORB characteristics to calc-alkaline andesites and rhyolites, formed in a young, relatively un-evolved island are or in a back-arc basin sufficiently close to an arc to receive calc-alkaline lava flows and coarse-grained, arc-derived detritus. tus. Overlying turbidites and lahar deposits of the Kaffan sandstone point to the initiation of a rifting event. High-Ti basalts, which erupted above the Kaffan sandstone, and related diabase are interpreted to be magmatic products of incipient intra-arc rifting. Renewed arc volcanism produced calc-alkaline volcanic rocks that interfingered with the high-Ti basalt and later dominated the section as the volcanic apron of the arc prograded basinward. Extrusion of voluminous calc-alkaline tuff may have been contemporaneous with intrusion of granodiorite and gravity-driven landsliding.

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