Kröner A, Brandl G, Brandt S, Klemd R, Xie H (2018)
Publication Language: English
Publication Type: Journal article
Publication year: 2018
Book Volume: 310
Pages Range: 320-347
The Central Zone of Limpopo Belt is a polymetamorphic and complexly deformed Precambrian terrane whose tectonic evolution is still uncertain because details on the timing of its evolution are not well established. We report zircon ages for newly discovered rocks in the Central Zone which document three distinct high-grade tectono-metamorphic events at 3.22, 2.62 and 2.02 Ga. The youngest of these has been well established, but the older two events were so far largely based only on rare zircon overgrowth rims. Most of our samples were collected from a large enclave in the 2.61 Ga Bulai pluton and constitute a strongly deformed, brecciated high-grade assemblage of supracrustal rocks, meta-anorthosite and granitoid gneisses, some of which are most likely equivalents of the pre-3.33 Ga Beit Bridge Complex. Magmatic zircon ages of 3.34–3.33 Ga for anorthositic and tonalitic gneisses in the enclave breccia support this correlation. Ca. 3.22 Ga metamorphic zircons, possibly reflecting the D1/M1 event, were only found in one felsic granulite sample, and their regional significance remains uncertain. Abundant metamorphic zircons grew at ca. 2.62 Ga under granulite-facies conditions (D2/M2), and some of these experienced variable degrees of recrystallization and/or Pb-loss during the third granulite-facies event at ca. 2.0 Ga (D3/M3). Rocks outside the Bulai enclave contain abundant newly-formed ca. 2.02 Ga metamorphic zircons but only rarely preserve evidence for the ca. 2.62 Ga event since these late Archaean zircons show strong recrystallization and/or Pb-loss at ca. 2.0 Ga. We suggest that the Bulai pluton “protected” the rocks inside the enclave from severe overprinting at ca. 2.0 Ga because these rocks remained dry, whereas the assemblages outside the Bulai pluton experienced fluid-assisted metamorphic overprinting at ca. 2.0 Ga.
Our new data sugggest that the tectonic evolution of the Central Zone was more complex than previously thought. We favour a scenario where collision involving the Limpopo Belt occurred in the Neoarchaean, whereas the high-grade Palaeoproterozoic event was most likely intracontinental and records far-field effects of plate movements elsewhere. The tectonic setting controlling the early Archaean D1/M1 event remains unknown, largely because of insufficient data and extensive overprinting during later times.
Kröner, A., Brandl, G., Brandt, S., Klemd, R., & Xie, H. (2018). Geochronological evidence for Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic polymetamorphism in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt, South Africa. Precambrian Research, 310, 320-347. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2018.03.013
Kröner, Alfred, et al. "Geochronological evidence for Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic polymetamorphism in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt, South Africa." Precambrian Research 310 (2018): 320-347.