Mesoproterozoic volcanism, metallogenesis and tectonic evolution along the western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton
- Authors: Bailie, Russell Hope
- Date: 2010-06-07T06:52:22Z
- Subjects: Geology , Volcanism , Geochemistry , Structural geology , Kaapvaal Craton (South Africa)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:6866 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3298
- Description: D.Phil. , The western margin of the Archean Kaapvaal Craton, at its contact with the polydeformed and metamorphosed Proterozoic Namaqua Province, is host to four volcanosedimentary successions of Mesoproterozoic age (1.1-1.3 Ga) that occur in close spatial and temporal association to each other. These are the Areachap Group, the Leerkrans Formation of the Wilgenhoutsdrif Group and the two volcanosedimentary successions that comprise the Koras Group. There has been protracted debate as to the exact nature, origin, age and tectonic evolution of these successions, particularly as they occur immediately adjacent to an important crustal suture. A comprehensive whole rock and isotope geochemical study, complemented by zircon-based geochronology where necessary, was thus carried out to characterize and compare the volcanic rocks associated with these four successions. The results are used to assess the role of the four volcanosedimentary successions during the development of the Mesoproterozoic suture between the Kaapvaal Craton and the Namaqua Province during the ~1.2-1.0 Ga Namaquan Orogeny. The geochemical study of the Areachap Group examined a suite of lithologies from different locations along the ~280km long outcrop belt, with the aim of testing the lateral continuity and integrity of this highly metamorphosed and deformed succession. As the bulk of the samples collected were from diamond drill core intersecting volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) Zn-Cu deposits it was only appropriate to extend the investigation to assess the metallogenesis and relation of these deposits to their host rock sequences. This included a survey of the sulphur isotope composition of sulphides and sulphates that comprise the Zn-Cu deposits. Furthermore, the architecture and origin of the world-class Copperton deposit, the largest Zn-Cu deposit of the Areachap Group, was examined. For this purpose, available literature data were collated and complemented by new geochemical and geochronological information. Sm-Nd isotopic systematics and U-Pb zircon ages suggest a coeval origin and close genetic link between the metavolcanic rocks of the Leerkrans Formation of the Wilgenhoutsdrif Group and the Areachap Group. Both successions record the establishment of an eastward-directed subduction zone on the western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton. The Areachap Group represents the highly metamorphosed and deformed remnants of a Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1.30-1.24 Ga) volcanic arc that was accreted onto the western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton at ~1.22-1.20 Ga, during the early stages of the Namaquan Orogeny. The igneous protoliths within the Areachap Group are low- to medium-K tholeiitic to calc-alkaline in composition ranging in composition from basaltic through to rhyolitic. Tholeiitic basalts, represented by volumetrically minor amphibolites within the succession have Sm-Nd isotopic characteristics indicative of derivation from a depleted mantle source as denoted by their positive Nd(t) values. The lithogeochemical results highlight the fact that, despite differences in lithological architecture on a local scale, the Areachap Group exhibits coherent geochemical characteristics along its entire strike length.
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Ongeluk volcanism in relation to the Kalahari manganese deposits
- Authors: Schutte, Sabine Silke
- Date: 2011-11-30
- Subjects: Geology , Manganese ores , Volcanism , Northern Cape (South Africa) , Kalahari (South Africa)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:1746 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4101
- Description: D.Phil. , The Ongeluk Formation is a laterally extensive sequence of ≈2200 Ma tholeiitic basaltic andesites in the upper Griqualand West Sequence of the northern Cape Province. The stratigraphic thickness is about 500 m and the Ongeluk Formation underlies the ore-bearing strata of the Kalahari Manganese Field. The formation comprises massive lavas, pillow lavas and hyaloclastite beds in close association. These rocks were extruded under water in a marginal basin within the continental setting of the Kaapvaal Craton. The Hekpoort Basalt Formation of the Transvaal is magmatically cogenetic with the Ongeluk, having indistinguishable geochemistry and sharing a stratigraphically related hiatus in Cr values. The best age estimate for the two formations is 2193 ± 71 Ma, from Rb-Sr data of two previous workers for Hekpoort samples. The Ongeluk Formation shows a mild "regional" geochemical alteration and a profound "Kalahari" alteration beneath the Kalahari Manganese Field. Geochemical screening was used to reconstruct the magmatic composition from a selected dataset. Three stages in the development of regional alteration are ascribed to sea water-rock interaction at different temperatures, and have distinct geochemical signatures. The pervasive Kalahari alteration is characterised by a purple colouration and the decoupled alteration of alkali and high field strength elements. It is due to the development of major hydrothermal systems close to a volcanic vent which are analogous to modern mid-ocean ridge systems. A multi-system isotopic study showed that most of the isotope systems were modified by sea-floor alteration. The similarity of the 2237 ± 23 Ma Pb-Pb errorchron age with the Rb-Sr Hekpoort age reflects changes in U-Pb ratios with minor changes in Pb isotope ratio. Evidence was found in the Rb-Sr system for a minor disturbance at ≈ 1100 Ma, also reported by previous workers. This event is related to the Namaqua tectogenesis, while no isotopic evidence was found for the enigmatic ≈ 2200 to 1750 Ma Kheis orogeny, regarded as the cause of thrust faulting in the region. A genetic connection between the Ongeluk lava and the Kalahari Manganese deposits was established. The manganese ores contain evidence for both marine and hydrothermal contributions to chemical sedimentation. Negative Ce anomalies characterise an oxygenated sea in which the interaction between global oceanic and continental influences is seen. Heavy rare earth enrichment reflects volcanic hydrothermal exhalations from the Kalahari Ongeluk system. Mass balance calculations show that the entire 9 billion tons of Kalahari Manganese ore could have been derived from the Ongeluk Formation. A new model describing the origin and evolution of the Kalahari Manganese Field places a strong emphasis on the role of the syngenetic hydrothermal exhalation and upgrading.
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