Abstract

Tuvia Weissbrod & Iaakov Karcz write: The evidenc available to date is insufficient to allow a detailed correlatioi of Precambrian lithologies and tectonic events across th Arabo-Nubian massif (ANM). Hence any spatia extrapolation of local evidence requires a great deal of caution. The arguments recently presented by Abed (1985) against the supposed Precambrian ancestry of the Dead Se; Rift (e.g. Bender 1968,, 1982) are therefore briefly assessed here in the light of findings in Israel and Sinai.

Precambrian sediments. To refute the claim that the molasse-like Sarmuj Conglomerate is preserved as relics, which escaped the intense Late Precambrian planation only along the inferred palaeosuture depression, Abed presents examples of Precambrian sediments at locations across the ANM well away from the Dead Sea Rift (DSR). None of these examples, however, is fully applicable. The Precambrian history of the ANM includes several phases of deformation, planation and deposition (e.g. Hadley & Schmidt 1980; Bentor 1985), so that even though preservation in structural depressions is quite common, the date and nature of the infilling, and the age of the depressions, vary considerably. Abed’s first example, the Murdama Group of Saudi Arabia (600–650 Ma), is older than the Sarmuj Conglomerate, and contrary to Abed’s assertion, pre-dates rather than postdates the Najd fault system (e.g. Delfour 1979; Schmidt et al. 1979). Since the relation, if any, of the Najd faulting to the DSR is not clear, and since no claim has ever been made that rifting was instrumental in the preservation of all Precambrian sediments

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