Granite petrogenesis and crustal evolution studies in the Damara Pan-African orogenic belt, Namibia

Mc Dermott, Patrick Francis (1987). Granite petrogenesis and crustal evolution studies in the Damara Pan-African orogenic belt, Namibia. PhD thesis The Open University.



Major and trace element data for Damara granitoids distinguish three geochemically distinct granitoid groups, - crustal-melt granitoids, calc-alkaline granitoids and within-plate granitoids. The overwhelming majority of the Oamara granitoids are peraluminous crustal-melt leucogranites which have elevated 87Sr/86Sr ratios (> 0.710) and old model Nd ages (~ 2.0 Ga).

Calc-alkaline diorites are metaluminous and have the lowest 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.704 - 0.707) and model Nd ages (OM) in the range 1.1 -1.7 Ga. Within-plate granitoids are characterised by elevated high-field strength (HFS) abundances and have model Nd ages (OM) in the range 1.1 - 1.6 Ga.

All Damara granitoids have model Nd ages (OM) older than about 1.0 Ga suggesting that intracrustal reworking was the dominant process and crustal growth was negligible. Damara granitoids define a hyperbola on an ∈ Sr vs. ∈ Nd diagram but cannot be modelled as simple binary mixtures between old continental crust and depleted mantle end-members. An episodic intracrustal remobilisation model is proposed to explain the hyperbola defined by granitoid data on an ∈ Sr vs. ∈ Nd diagram.

Within the 10 km thick Damara metasedimentary pile 87Sr/86Sr ratios increase systematically with depth. This trend is accompanied by a decrease in 143Nd/144Nd ratios. Model Nd ages (CHUR) for the stratigraphically oldest Damara metasediments (Nosib Group) are about 2.0 Ga whereas the younger metasediments (Kuiseb Formation and Nama Group) have model Nd ages (CHUR) about 1.0 Ga reflecting sediment input from younger source terrains. The ratio of model ages (TNdCHUR/TSrBE) is used as an index of intracrustal reworking since it provides a measure of Rb/Sr fractionation (increases) relative to SmlNd fractionation. The older Damara metasediments (Nosib Group) have the highest model age ratios suggesting that their source terrains have suffered the largest amount of intracrustal reworking. However, the rate of intracrustal reworking was greatest in source terrains sampled by the younger Damara metasediments (Kuiseb Formation and Nama Group). This suggests that the rate of intracrustal reworking increased through time in the interval (2.0 - 1.0 Ga) in this segment of continental crust.

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