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Mesoproterozoic volcanism, metallogenesis and tectonic evolution along the western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. J. Gutzmer and Dr. H.S. van Niekerk en
dc.contributor.author Bailie, Russell Hope
dc.date.accessioned 2010-06-07T06:52:22Z
dc.date.available 2010-06-07T06:52:22Z
dc.date.issued 2010-06-07T06:52:22Z
dc.date.submitted 2008-06
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3298
dc.description D.Phil. en
dc.description.abstract 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. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Geology en
dc.subject Volcanism en
dc.subject Geochemistry en
dc.subject Structural geology en
dc.subject Kaapvaal Craton (South Africa) en
dc.title Mesoproterozoic volcanism, metallogenesis and tectonic evolution along the western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton en
dc.type Thesis en

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