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Petrology, geochemistry, radioactivity, and M–W type rare earth element tetrads of El Sela altered granites, south eastern desert, Egypt

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Abstract

The southern part of the Eastern Desert of Egypt—about 30 km southwest of Abu-Ramad city—is mainly covered by ophiolitic rocks (Sul Hamed), island arc assemblage, younger granites (muscovite granites of Qash Amer and two mica granites of El Sela), and various acidic and basic dikes. Field, petrological, and geochemical studies indicate that the El Sela shear zone has been subject to hydrothermal and supergene alteration such as kaolinization, albitization, sericitization, and hematitization. It is invaded by quartz ENE–WSW veins associated with hydrothermal alteration accompanied by radioactive mineralization. The investigated younger granitic rocks had very low contents of compatible elements, such as Cr, Ni, and Co; and high contents of incompatible elements, such as Zr, and large ion lithophiles, such as Sr, especially in the El Sela shear zone. Major oxide and trace element analyses revealed calc-alkaline affinity and peraluminous character. These highly differentiated granitic rocks’ lower Zr/Hf and higher Y/Ho than the normal ratio are consistent with hydrothermal alteration. Most samples had rare earth element (REE)-patterns with an M-type tetrad effect in the first and fourth segments and a W-type tetrad in the third segment. The average ∑REE in the studied granites was lower than the world granite average; the ratio of light to heavy REEs greater. The main radioactive, uranium-bearing, and uraniferous Fe and Mn minerals are uranothorite, autunite, uranophane and autunite as compounds, kasolite, columbite, xenotime, uranophane-bearing zircon and jarosite, silver-bearing pyrite, hematite, and autunite-bearing pyrolusite.

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El Mezayen, A.M., Heikal, M.A., El-Feky, M.G. et al. Petrology, geochemistry, radioactivity, and M–W type rare earth element tetrads of El Sela altered granites, south eastern desert, Egypt. Acta Geochim 38, 95–119 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11631-018-0274-7

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