Three tier transition of Neoarchean TTG-sanukitoid magmatism in the Beit Bridge Complex, Southern Africa

H. M. Rajesh, G. A. Belyanin, D. D. Van Reenen

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Abstract

Neoarchean TTG-sanukitoid associations of contrasting scales occur within the Beit Bridge Complex terrane of the Limpopo Complex in southern Africa. These include the smaller ~ 2.65–2.63 Ga Avoca granitoid and the voluminous ~ 2.73–2.64 Ga Alldays granitoid. This study characterizes the wide compositional spectrum preserved in these two granitoids. The elliptical Avoca pluton consists of a biotite-amphibole-orthopyroxene ± clinopyroxene-bearing core that is dominantly trondhjemite with less dominant tonalite and granodiorite variants, and a thin amphibole-biotite-bearing granite rim, with local occurrence of two-pyroxene-bearing metabasite boudins. While both the core and rim rocks exhibit a linear fabric, the granite in addition preserves a penetrative foliation. Field relations of granite enclaves in the core rocks together with available ages indicate that the core rocks intruded the granite. The foliated biotite ± amphibole-bearing Alldays granitoid contains inclusions of older supracrustals and rocks of the Messina layered intrusion, and is widely distributed. Compositionally, it include tonalites and granodiorites and to a lesser extent trondhjemites. Both the Avoca core and rim rocks are characterized by difference in mineral chemistry, with the mafic minerals Mg-rich in the TTG core, while they are Fe-rich in the granite and metabasite. In comparison, biotite is Mg-rich and amphibole is Fe-rich in the Alldays granitoid. Two groups of Alldays TTG can be delineated in terms of whole-rock geochemical characteristics, and are comparable to the low- to medium-pressure TTG groups delineated by Moyen (2011), while the Avoca TTG is similar to the high-pressure TTG group. The lowest silica samples from each group of granitoid have geochemical characteristics comparable to Archean sanukitoids, with those from the Avoca granitoid similar to low-Ti sanukitoids, and those from the Alldays granitoid similar to low-Ti and high-Ti sanukitoids. Separate petrogenetic models are suggested for different phases of the Avoca core, with the trondhjemite-tonalites considered as high-pressure melts of metabasalt, while the granodiorite with lower SiO2 content, higher K2O and MgO contents, and higher incompatible element contents, than the trondhjemite-tonalites, is a product of hybridization of earlier TTG melts and peridodite. Granite from the Avoca rim are low-pressure melts of pre-existing crustal lithologies. The two groups of Alldays TTG with lower Sr/Y ratios than the Avoca TTG are considered as low- to medium-pressure melts of metabasalt, whose progressive interaction with peridotitic mantle at shallower angles account for the unique composition of Alldays low-Ti and high-Ti sanukitoids. Taken together with their spatial and temporal transition from southeastern (~ 2.73–2.72 Ga; low-pressure TTG-low-Ti sanukitoid) to central (~ 2.65–2.64 Ga; medium-pressure TTG-high-Ti sanukitoid) to northwestern (~ 2.63 Ga; high-pressure TTG-low-Ti sanukitoid) parts of the Beit Bridge Complex, the three tier transition of TTG-sanukitoid magmatism argues for the southern margin of the Beit Bridge Complex to represent an active arc in the Neoarchean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-451
Number of pages21
JournalLithos
Volume296-299
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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