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The geochemical nature of the Archean Ancient Gneiss Complex and Granodiorite Suite, Swaziland: a preliminary study

Precambrian Research

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Abstract

The Ancient Gneiss Complex (AGC) of Swaziland, an Archean gray gneiss complex, lies southeast and south of the Barberton greenstone belt and includes the most structurally complex and highly metamorphosed portions of the eastern Kaapvaal craton. The AGC is not precisely dated but apparently is older than 3.4 Ga. The AGC consists of three major units: (a) a bimodal suite of closely interlayered siliceous, low-K gneisses and metabasalt; (b) homogeneous tonalite gneiss; and (c) interlayered siliceous microcline gneiss, metabasalt, and minor metasedimentary rocks - termed the metamorphite suite. A geologically younger gabbro-diorite-tonalite-trondhjemite suite, the Granodiorite Suite, is spatially associated with the AGC and intrusive into it. The bimodal suite consists largely of two types of low-K siliceous gneiss: one has SiO2 < 75%, Al2O3 > 14%, low Rb/Sr ratios, and depleted heavy rare earth elements (REE's); the other has SiO2 > 75%, Al2O3 < 13%, high Rb/Sr ratios, and relatively abundant REE's except for negative Eu anomalies. The interlayered metabasalt ranges from komatiitic to tholeiitic compositions. Lenses of quartz monzonitic gneiss of K2O/Na2O close to 1 form a minor part of the bimodal suite. Tonalitic to trondhjemitic migmatite locally is abundant and has major-element abundances similar to those of non-migmatitic varieties. The siliceous gneisses of the metamorphic suite show low Al2O, K2O/Na2O ratios of about 1, high Rb/Sr ratios, moderate REE abundances and negative Eu anomalies. K/Rb ratios of siliceous gneisses of the bimodal suite are very low (???130); of the tonalitic gneiss, low (???225); of the siliceous gneiss of the metamorphite suite, moderate (???300); and of the Granodiorite Suite, high (???400). Rocks of the AGC differ geochemically in several ways from the siliceous volcanic and hypabyssal rocks of the Upper Onverwacht Group and from the diapirs of tonalite and trondhjemite that intrude the Swaziland Group. ?? 1978.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The geochemical nature of the Archean Ancient Gneiss Complex and Granodiorite Suite, Swaziland: a preliminary study
Series title:
Precambrian Research
Volume
7
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1978
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Precambrian Research
First page:
105
Last page:
127
Number of Pages:
23