Abstract

Essentially all models for the tectonic evolution of the high-grade Limpopo belt of southern Africa invoke a single orogenic event at 2.7 Ga involving the collision of the Zimbabwe and Kaapvaal cratons with a distinct central zone. By implication, rocks within the belt must have followed parallel pressure- temperature-time (P-T-t) paths. The main reasons for this situation are the belief that syn- to postdeformational granitic magmatism in the belt was coeval and the fact that P-T paths are similar. New geochronological data indicate, however, that this magmatism occurred at distinct times in different parts of the belt over a span of at least 70 m.y. In addition, the data indicate that high-grade metamorphism and associated tectonism in the central and southern marginal zones occurred at about 2.0 and 3.15 Ga, respectively. Therefore, P-T-t paths of these zones were independent until their juxtaposition more recently than 2.0 Ga.

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