Evolution and mineralization of the Precambrian basement of Yemen.

Salah Al-Khirbash*, Mohamed Th S Heikal, Martin J. Whitehouse, Brian F. Windley, Khaled M. Al-Selwi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Precambrian basement in Yemen consists of several diverse terranes that were amalgamated during the late Neoproterozoic closure of the Mozambique Ocean and final assembly of East and West Gondwana. The terranes in the west and northwest of Yemen are juvenile oceanic arcs that correlate directly with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia. To the east of these, several terranes record development of continental margins and Andean-type arcs that separate gneissic evolved terranes that have Neoarchean-Mesoproterozoic protoliths. Most terrane boundaries are decorated by well-preserved ophiolites. Correlation of these eastern terranes with Saudi Arabian terranes to the north remains somewhat speculative due to the great distances between outcrops; correlations across the Gulf of Aden to the south are more reliable due to well-defined oceanic fracture zones. The island of Socotra is independent of the amalgamation in western Yemen and correlates with terrane(s) in eastern Oman. The Yemeni Precambrian rocks have been subjected to multiple phases of deformation and metamorphism from regional pre-Pan-African deformation through to earlylate Pan-African phases. The diversity of the Precambrian rocks in Yemen and their structural and deformational characteristics determines a general distribution pattern of mineralization, which is closely associated with terrane-specific lithologies that span from magmatic (in mafic/ultramafic complexes), through magmatic/ hydrothermal (mafic metavolcanic and metasediments, and shear zones) to late hydrothermal mineralization associated with pegmatitic and late tectonic plutons. Further work on the geology as well as isotopic and geochronological characterization of the terranes in Yemen is required in order to remove existing uncertainties over their extent and broader regional correlations that might contribute to a better understanding of Gondwana amalgamation in the late Neoproterozoic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-657
JournalSpringer Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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