Formation and emplacement of two contrasting late-Mesoproterozoic magma types in the central Namaqua Metamorphic Complex (South Africa, Namibia): Evidence from geochemistry and geochronology

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The Namaqua Metamorphic Complex is a Mesoproterozoic low-pressure, granulite facies belt along the southern and western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton. The NMC has formed between ~ 1.3 and 1.0 Ga and its central part consists essentially of different types of granitoids intercalated with metapelites and calc-silicate rocks. The granitoids can be subdivided into three major groups: (i) mesocratic granitoids, (ii) leucocratic granitoids and (iii) leucogranites. The high-K, ferroan mesocratic granitoids (54-75 wt% SiO2) have a variable composition ranging from granitic to tonalitic, and contain biotite and/or hornblende or orthopyroxene. They are strongly enriched in REE and LILE, indicating A-type chemical characteristics, and are depleted in Ba, Sr, Eu, Nb, Ta and Ti. The leucocratic granitoids and leucogranites (68-76 wt% SiO2) differ from the other group in having a granitic or slightly syenitic composition containing biotite and/or garnet/sillimanite. They have lower REE and MgO, FeOt, CaO, TiO2, MnO concentrations, but higher Na2O and K2O contents. Compositional variations in mesocratic granitoids indicate their formation by fractional crystallization of a mafic parental magma. Leucocratic granitoids and leucogranites lack such trends, which suggests melting of a felsic crustal source without subsequent further evolution of the generated magmas. The mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of the mesocratic granitoids are consistent magmatic differentiation of a mantle derived, hot (> 900 °C) parental magma. The leucocratic granitoids and leucogranites granites were formed from low-temperature magmas (< 730 °C), generated during fluid-present melting from metasedimentary sources. Keywords: Namaqua Metamorphic Complex, Granitoid, Major and trace element geochemistry, Geochronology, Mobile belt.

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Journal Article

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