Abstract

Controversy exists as to whether the 2.7 Ga Belingwe greenstone belt, Zimbabwe, is autochthonous or allochthonous. In this study we report direct evidence for an autochthonous continental setting for the Belingwe greenstone belt. Garnet and clinopyroxene xenocrysts were discovered in the fresh ultramafic komatiites. Major and trace element compositions of these xenocrysts suggest that they originated from mafic lower crust, presumably garnet granulite in composition, at a low temperature of ∼600 or ∼700 °C. Furthermore, in a komatiitic basalt sample, we have discovered orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene xenocrysts that may have originated from lithospheric mantle beneath the continental margin. Discoveries of these xenocrysts indicate that the komatiite magma was transported to the surface and quenched rapidly enough to prevent the complete melting of continental fragments.

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