Abstract

The Buhwa Greenstone Belt (BGB) of southern Zimbabwe is the only major greenstone belt in the Archean Zimbabwe Craton directly adjacent to the granulite-facies rocks that constitute the Northern Marginal Zone of the Limpopo Belt. The deformational history and assembly of the BGB shed light on the evolution of the Northern Marginal Zone – Zimbabwe Craton transition. Assembly of the region began with deposition of the dominantly sedimentary cover succession at ~3.0 Ga on banded gneisses of the ~3.5 Ga Tokwe segment. At ~2.9 Ga the northern margin of the greenstone belt experienced kilometres of ductile, oblique-slip, dextral shearing. This shear zone was later intruded by the granitic to tonalitic ~2.9 Ga Chipinda batholith. The remaining events recognized in the region occurred during the time span 2.9–2.5 Ga. Northwest-directed thrusting of the Northern Marginal Zone over the Zimbabwe Craton took place along a collection of discrete, typically metre-wide shear zones, which collectively form the tectonic break between the Zimbabwe Craton and the Northern Marginal Zone. In response to thrusting, the cover succession and surrounding granitoids were folded and underwent regional greenschist-facies metamorphism. Two suites of potassic granites were emplaced north and south of the greenstone belt towards the end of thrusting. Plutonism was followed by conjugate faulting and later filling of the fractures by the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe. The youngest events may have occurred between ~2.5 and ~2.0 Ga, and include sinistral shearing along the southern margin of the belt, transecting cleavage formation, and open folding as a result of northeast-directed crustal shortening.

You do not currently have access to this article.