Geochemical characteristics and origin of the Lebowa Granite Suite, Bushveld Complex

International Geology Review

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The ??? 2052-Ma Lebowa Granite Suite (LGS) represents the culminating phase of an Early Proterozoic magmatic cycle in the Central Transvaal area of the Kaapvaal Province. Following extrusion of at least 200,000 km3 of intermediate to acid volcanics (Rooiberg Felsite), mafic and ultramafic magmas intruded at 2065 Ma to form the Rustenburg Layered Suite (RLS). The LGS includes the Nebo, Makhutso, Bobbejaankop, Lease, and Klipkloof granites. The Nebo Granite intruded the Rooiberg Felsite as sheets up to 4 km thick above the RLS. Smaller stocks of the other granites crosscut the Nebo. We determined major- and trace-element compositions and oxygen, Rb-Sr, and Sm-Nd isotope ratios for samples of: Nebo Granite; Rooiberg Felsite; granophyre and granophyric granite; Makhutso, Bobbejaankop, and Lease granites; and feldspar porphyry from areas throughout the exposed area of the LGS (Dennilton, Verena Balmoral, Enkeldoorn, Sekhukhune Plateau, Zaaiplaats-Potgeitersrus, and Western Transvaal). Coherent floor-to-roof geochemical trends exist in some areas, although it is not possible to model them convincingly. Regional variations in geochemistry exist and likely are related to source variations in the estimated 200,000 km3 of the Nebo Granite sheets. ??18O for the LGS range from +5.9??? to +9.5???; if these are approximate primary magmatic values, pelitic sediments cannot have been an important source for the LGS. The Rb-Sr isotope system has been altered, a finding consistent with previous studies. A mineral isochron for Nebo Granite near Dennilton yields a York regression age of 1995 ?? 99 Ma, with initial 143Nd/144Nd = 0.50978??8 and ???CHUR=-5.12. Samples from the Sekhukhune Plateau have higher 143Nd/144Nd ratios than do Dennilton-area samples, suggesting that the former originated from older or less LREE-enriched sources. We suggest that intrusion of mafic to ultramafic magmas at depth in the continental crust triggered melting of Archean quartzofeldspathic crystalline rocks and formed siliceous melting-precipitating cells (SMPCs) (see, e.g., Huppert and Sparks, 1988). This mass of siliceous magma blocked ascent of denser mafic magmas to higher levels in the crust; hence the RLS is confined to a series of circumferential lobes around the periphery of the Bushveld Complex. Diapirs rose from the SMPCs to form sheets of Nebo Granite, which ascended in the center of the Bushveld Complex and spread laterally along the upper contacts of the RLS lenses.

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Geochemical characteristics and origin of the Lebowa Granite Suite, Bushveld Complex
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International Geology Review
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International Geology Review
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