Basement terranes exposed at the headwaters of the White Nile include Archean-Paleoproterozoic rocks of the Congo Craton, whose northern sectors were severely reworked during Neoproterozoic orogeny. New U-Pb analyses of detrital rutile and monazite from early Quaternary to Recent coastal quartz sands of Israel, at the northeast extension of the Nile sedimentary system, yield mostly late Neoproterozoic ages, with a dominant peak at ca. 600 Ma. While derivation from the reworked sectors of the Craton cannot be negated, the absence of pre-Neoproterozoic rutile and monazite indicates that the detrital contribution from the Congo cratonic nuclei into the main Nile was insignificant.The near absence of White Nile basement-derived heavy minerals from the Nile sands arriving at the Eastern Mediterranean may be explained by a number of factors such as relatively minor erosion of the Cratonic basement nuclei during the Quaternary, late connection of the White Nile to the main Nile system with a possibility that northern segments connected prior to more southerly ones, and a long-term effective sediment blockage mechanism at the mouth of White Nile. Likewise, our previous study demonstrated that Nile sands display a detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf pattern consistent with significant recycling of NE African Paleozoic sediments. It is thus plausible that any detrital contribution from White Nile basement rocks was thoroughly diluted by eroded Paleozoic sediments, or their recycled products, which were likely the greatest sand reservoir in the region.This study adds to previous studies showing the advantage of a multi mineral U-Pb geochronology strategy in constraining sediment provenance patterns.
Journal of African Earth Sciences – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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