Brandt S, Klemd R, Xie H, Bobek P (2021)
Publication Type: Journal article
Publication year: 2021
Book Volume: 321
Pages Range: 235-296
Journal Issue: 1-2
The Epupa Complex of northern Namibia constitutes the south-western margin of the Archean Congo Craton of central Africa. We present new petrological and geochronological data for metasedimentary migmatites that decode the poorly-known Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic evolution of this remote part of the craton. Detrital magmatic zircons with concordant 207Pb/206Pb ages between 1898 and 1774 Ma are interpreted to demonstrate the formation of the metasedimentary protoliths through reworking of Paleoproterozoic granitoids of a magmatic arc in a back-arc basin. SHRIMP U-Pb zircon analyses of metamorphic rims around the detrital grains linked with constraints from pseudosection modelling revealed three distinct high-grade metamorphic events in the migmatites. Late Paleoproterozoic regional HT-LP metamorphism between 1740 and 1720 Ma constitutes the oldest event and only affected the rocks of the northernmost part of the Epupa Complex (Eyao Unit). Heating to mid-amphibolite facies peak P-T conditions of 720 °C and 4 kbar caused the partial replacement of early biotite-sillimanite by garnet-cordierite assemblages during melt-producing reactions in metapelites. The near-isobaric heating-cooling P-T paths and the high geothermal gradient (60 °C/km) are consistent with HP-LP metamorphism in a back-arc basin setting with up-rising basic melt as heat source. Early Mesoproterozoic (1530 Ma) HT-LP metamorphism is recorded by rare Mg-rich Opx-Crd rocks that are restricted to the westernmost part of the Eyao Unit. Near-isobaric P-T paths culminate at granulite facies peak-conditions of 830 °C and 2 kbar. This local HP-LP event is interpreted to record contact metamorphism related to the coeval emplacement of early-Mesoproterozoic granitoids or the emplacement of intimately associated gabbros. Metapelitic Grt-Bt-Sil migmatites record the third high-grade metamorphic event that was active at ca. 1330 Ma and is restricted to the southern part of the Epupa Complex (Orue Unit). Sillimanite pseudomorphs after kyanite and late cordierite coronas around garnet indicate a clockwise P-T path during regional upper-amphibolite facies metamorphism that peaks at lower crustal conditions of 770 °C and 7.5 kbar. The clockwise P-T path is interpreted to reflect crustal thickening through magmatic accretion of basic melts that produced the coeval Kunene Intrusive Complex, the largest massif-type anorthosite in the world. The metamorphic events detected in the migmatites record a change of the geotectonic position of the Epupa Complex from a convergent continental margin during the late Paleoproterozoic to an intracratonic position in the Mesoproterozoic. The migmatites of the Eyao Unit were affected by an intense hydrothermal alteration during the Pan-African orogeny (ca. 520 Ma) that also caused the partial re-setting of the U-Pb zircon isotope system.
Brandt, S., Klemd, R., Xie, H., & Bobek, P. (2021). Unravelling the P-T-t history of three high-grade metamorphic events in the Epupa Complex, NW Namibia: Implications for the paleoproterozoic to mesoproterozoic evolution of the Congo Craton. American Journal of Science, 321(1-2), 235-296. https://dx.doi.org/10.2475/01.2021.07
Brandt, Sönke, et al. "Unravelling the P-T-t history of three high-grade metamorphic events in the Epupa Complex, NW Namibia: Implications for the paleoproterozoic to mesoproterozoic evolution of the Congo Craton." American Journal of Science 321.1-2 (2021): 235-296.