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Keywords:

  • late-collisional granitoids;
  • rare-metals;
  • Neoproterozoic;
  • geotectonics;
  • Arabian–Nubian Shield;
  • Egypt

The widely distributed late-collisional calc-alkaline granitoids in the northern Arabian–Nubian Shield (ANS) have a geodynamic interest as they represent significant addition of material into the ANS juvenile crust in a short time interval (∼630–590 Ma). The Deleihimmi granitoids in the Egyptian Central Eastern Desert are, therefore, particularly interesting since they form a multiphase pluton composed largely of late-collisional biotite granitoids enclosing granodiorite microgranular enclaves and intruded by leuco- and muscovite granites. Geochemically, different granitoid phases share some features and distinctly vary in others. They display slightly peraluminous (ASI = 1–1.16), non-alkaline (calc-alkaline and highly fractionated calc-alkaline), I-type affinities. Both biotite granitoids and leucogranites show similar rare earth element (REE) patterns [(La/Lu)N = 3.04–2.92 and 1.9–1.14; Eu/Eu* = 0.26–0.19 and 0.11–0.08, respectively) and related most likely by closed system crystal fractionation of a common parent. On the other hand, the late phase muscovite granites have distinctive geochemical features typical of rare-metal granites. They are remarkably depleted in Sr and Ba (4–35 and 13–18 ppm, respectively), and enriched in Rb (381–473 ppm) and many rare metals. Moreover, their REE patterns show a tetrad effect (TE1,3 = 1.13 and 1.29) and pronounced negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.07 and 0.08), implying extensive open system fractionation via fluid–rock interaction during the magmatic stage.

Origin of the calc-alkaline granitoids by high degree of partial melting of mafic lower crust with subsequent crystal fractionation is advocated. The broad distribution of late-collisional calc-alkaline granitoids in the northern ANS is related most likely to large areal and intensive lithospheric delamination subsequent to slab break-off and crustal/mantle thickening. Such delamination caused both crustal uplift and partial melting of the remaining mantle lithosphere in response to asthenospheric uprise. The melts produced underplate the lower crust to promote its melting. The presence of microgranular enclaves, resulting from mingling of mantle-derived mafic magma with felsic crustal-derived liquid, favours this process. The derivation of the late-phase rare-metal granites by open system fractionation via fluid interaction is almost related to the onset of extension above the rising asthenosphere that results in mantle degassing during the switch to post-collisional stage. Consequently, the switch from late- to post-collisional stage of crustal evolution in the northern ANS could be potentially significant not only geodynamically but also economically. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.