Neoarchaean tectonic evolution of the Zimbabwe Craton
Published:January 01, 2002
Hielke A. Jelsma, Paul H. G. M. Dirks, 2002. "Neoarchaean tectonic evolution of the Zimbabwe Craton", The Early Earth: Physical, Chemical and Biological Development, C. M. R. Fowler, C. J. Ebinger, C. J. Hawkesworth
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An overview is presented of the field relations, age data and geochemical characteristics of the Neoarchaean granites and greenstones of the Zimbabwe Craton, southern Africa. A major tectono-magmatic event at c. 2.7 Ga produced two distinct greenstone successions. One succession is reminiscent of rift- or back-arc environments and is associated with an old continental fragment. A second succession is indicative of arc magmatism and is associated with juvenile crust. Both were affected by a major accretionary event that, in an apparent sense, swept across the craton between 2.68 and 2.60 Ga. During this 80 Ma time period, concomitant late volcanism, regional deformation, the development of syntectonic sedimentary successions in foreland-type basins, and late syntectonic plutonism took place in selected shear-zone-bounded tectonic domains over limited periods of time (<10–20 Ma). Deformation led to isostatically stable, 30–40 km thick continental crust, without significant exhumation of high-pressure rocks, suggesting that lithospheric shortening was accommodated independently in a rheologically strong upper and weak lower crust. Deformation was followed by pan-cratonic crustal melting and strike-slip shear motions, and led to stabilization of the crust at 2575 Ma, heralded by the emplacement of the Great Dyke.
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The Early Earth: Physical, Chemical and Biological Development
This volume contains a series of papers that cover a wide range of aspects, including geophysics, structure and tectonics, atmosphere, origin of life, biosphere, deep mantle geochemistry, early oceans, microbial ecology, on the development of the Earth in the first 2000 Ma of its history.The aim of this publication is to facilitate future discussions and understanding of this area of research.
This book is divided into three parts:
Geophysical and petrological constraints on Archaean lithosphere
Models of cratonic evolution and modification
Constraints on the Archaean environment
Subjects covered include the chemical and biological controls on the atmosphere and oceans, early controls on the carbon cycle and photosynthesis, petrologic, isotopic, tectonic and seismic evidence for the composition and structure of Archaean lithosphere.
This volume should be of interest to geologists and geophysicists who work on the Archaean, and students at all levels.