Ion-probe U–Pb dating of plutonic rocks from the northern Arabian–Nubian Shield in Sinai and southern Israel constrains the timing of late East African batholithic post-collisional calc-alkaline (CA2) magmatism and within-plate alkaline to peralkaline (AL) magmatism to c. 635–590 Ma and c. 608–580 Ma, respectively. The earliest dated CA2 rocks are slightly deformed to undeformed, indicating that penetrative deformation ceased by c. 630 Ma. Within the CA2 suite a change from mafic to felsic magmatism is manifested in most of the region, peaking in a voluminous pulse of granodiorite to granite intrusion at 610–600 Ma. The AL magmatism started contemporaneously with the peak in CA2 felsic activity at c. 608 Ma and lasted until 580 Ma. It includes mostly alkaline and peralkaline granites, probably representing variable degrees of differentiation of similar parental magmas. Thus CA2 and AL granites do not represent different tectonic settings, but coeval derivation from variable sources during crustal extension. The majority of rocks dated in this study show minor to non-existent zircon inheritance and thus indicate very minor interaction with previously formed felsic crust. The rare zircon xenocrysts span a typical East African age range (900–607 Ma) and confirm the absence of older crustal components in the juvenile Arabian–Nubian Shield.
Geochemical and geochronological methods, sample descriptions and data are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18327.