Alkaline Rocks and Carbonatites of the World

Setup during HiTech AlkCarb: an online database of alkaline rock and carbonatite occurrences

Abu Khruq (Gabal Abu Khruq)


Occurrence number: 
Longitude: 34.27, Latitude: 24.65

Gabal Abu Khruq is a conspicuous peak surrounded by semi-annular ridges and wadis. The complex cuts basement gneisses and schists and is partly overlain by lavas and agglomerates. Only the central area has been described in detail (El Ramly et al., 1969). Trachytes, rhyolites, phonolites and agglomerates extend over much of the western part of the complex and form the central summit; they form a roof and are fenitized close to the underlying syenites. The rhyolites contain abundant alkali feldspar phenocrysts in a groundmass of feldspar, quartz and opaque pseudomorphs. Sodic amphiboles and pyroxenes are concentrated along fractures and are probably the result of fenitization; trachyte porphyries are similar. The intrusive rocks are stock-like intrusions of nepheline syenite in the central area surrounded by a series of incomplete rings of nepheline syenite, syenite and essexitic rocks. The central nepheline syenites are described mainly as foyaites and ditroites but with varying degrees of zeolitization and cancrinitization; some urtite veins occur. The foyaites consist of Na- and K-feldspar, 25-30% nepheline, partly altered to cancrinite and replaced by analcime, alkali pyroxene and amphibole, biotite, zeolite, carbonate and accessories. Ditroites are similar mineralogically but lack a fluidal texture. Both rock types are widely sheared with alteration to cancrinite, zeolite, carbonate and iron oxides concentrated along these zones. The syenites vary from umptekite with up to 9% nepheline to quartz syenite (nordmarkite) with up to 20% quartz; the rest of the mineralogy is similar to that of the nepheline syenites. Small areas of what are called 'essexite gabbros' are found on the northeast side of the central area. These variable rocks consist of andesine-labradorite with some replacement by alkali feldspar, augite, sometimes with alkali pyroxene and amphibole rims, biotite and titanomagnetite. Dyke rocks are numerous and include solvsbergite, tinguaite, nepheline syenite porphyries and pegmatites, bostonite, albitite, trachydolerite and urtite consisting of 70% nepheline, 5% alkali feldspar, analcime, cancrinite and 5% aegirine-augite. Xenoliths are abundant throughout the complex and comprise various types of nepheline syenite together with rocks described as of the 'fenite-tveitasite series’. Chemical and modal analyses of all the principal rock types are to be found in El Ramly et al (1969a) and analyses, including trace element data, are given by Gindy et al. (1978); there are some trace element data in Soliman (1987). A very full whole rock data set is given by Landoll et al. (1994), including trace element and Nd, Sr and O isotopic data, and they conclude that the parental magma was derived from depleted mantle but that there was an input of crustal material to generate the quartz syenites. Hydrothermal activity at Abu Khruq has been investigated by Lutz et al. (1988) using Sr and O isotopes.

A preliminary assessment has been made of the nepheline syenites for the production of aluminium and alkali carbonates. 25-30 million tons of suitable material was proved (El Ramly et al., 1969a).
K-Ar whole rock detarminations on nepheline syenite and gabbro gave 89±2 and 90±2 Ma (Serencsits et al., 1979) and on nepheline syenite 86±15 Ma and 83±3 Ma, while biotite from the same rock gave 93.5±1.5 Ma (Meneisy and Kreuzer, 1974b). A range of 87-91 Ma by Rb-Sr was obtained by El Ramly and Hussein (1982). Omar et al. (1987) report fission-track ages on apatite and zircon from syenite, tinguaite and essexitic gabbro of 75.8 - 89.9 Ma with an average apatite age of 82.5 Ma. Rb-Sr determinations on minerals from a quartz syenite and two nepheline syenites yielded dates of 92±2, 88±2 and 93±6 Ma (Lutz et al., 1988); these authors tabulate and discuss the previous data.

AKAAD, M.K. and EL-RAMLY, M.F. 1962. The nepheline-syenite ring complex of Gebel Abu Khruq (South-eastern desert of Egypt). Geological Survey of Egypt, Paper, 14: 1-22.EL RAMLY, M.F. and HUSSEIN, A.A.A. 1982. The alkaline ring complexes of Egypt. Geological Survey of Egypt, Paper, 63: 1-16.EL RAMLY, M.F., BUDANOV, V.I., DERENIUK, N.E., ARMANIOUS, L.K. and HAYEK, G.G. 1969a. A petrological study on the central part of the Gabal Abu Khruq ring complex (South Eastern Desert of Egypt). Geological Survey of Egypt, Paper, 51: 1-53.EL RAMLY, M.F., BUDANOV, V.I. and HUSSEIN, A.A.A. 1971. The alkaline rocks of south-eastern Egypt. Geological Survey of Egypt, Paper, 53: 1-111.GINDY, A.R., KHALIL, S.O., EL RAMLY, M.F. and ARSLAN, A.I. 1978. Contributions to the petrochemistry and geochemistry of the alkaline rocks of Gabal Abu Khruq and Gabal El-Nuhud, South-eastern desert, Egypt. Chemie der Erde, 37: 285-301.LANDOLL, J.D., FOLAND, K.A. and HENDERSON, C.M.B. 1994. Nd isotopes demonstrate the role of contamination in the formation of coexisting quartz and nepheline syenites at the Abu Khruq complex, Egypt. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 117: 305-29.LUTZ, T.M., FOLAND, K.A., FAUL, H. and SROGI, L. 1988. The strontium and oxygen isotopic record of hydrothermal alteration of syenite from the Abu Khruq complex, Egypt. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 98: 212-23.MENEISY, M.Y. and KREUZER, H. 1974b. Potassium-argon ages of nepheline syenite ring complexes in Egypt. Geologisches Jahrbuch, Hannover. D9: 33-9. OMAR, G.I., KOHN, B.P., LUTZ, T.M. and FAUL, H. 1987. The cooling history of Silurian to Cretaceous alkaline ring complexes, South Eastern Desert, Egypt, as revealed by fission-track analysis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 83: 94-108.SERENCSITS, C.M., FAUL, H., FOLAND, K.A., EL RAMLY, M.F. and HUSSEIN, A.A. 1979. Alkaline ring complexes in Egypt: their ages and relationship to tectonic development of the Red Sea. Annals of the Geological Survey of Egypt, 9: 102-16.SOLIMAN, M.M. 1987. The younger granites and ring complexes of the Southeastern desert of Egypt and their relation to mineralization. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 6: 745-54.

Fig. 3_48 Abu Khruq (after El Ramly et al., 1971, Plate 21).
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