Abstract

The Madibe greenstone belt is the easternmost belt of the northern Kraaipan terrane, located in the Kimberley Block of the Kaapvaal Craton. It comprises a mature Middle to Late Archaean volcanic island arc succession that was welded onto the evolving western margin of the Kaapvaal Shield. The lithologies strike in a north-south direction and represent an assemblage of metamorphosed and strongly deformed volcanic and minor sedimentary rocks, now represented by phyllites, quartz-sericite schists, quartz-chlorite schists, amphibolites, talc-carbonate schists and banded iron formations.

We report a SHRIMP U-Pb age of 3082.5 ± 5.9 Ma for an intermediate metavolcanic rock. Ages of zircon grains within a volcano-sedimentary rock define ages around 3.43, ~3.18 and, ~3.09 Ga and are as young as ~3.04 Ga, suggesting the presence of older, mature continental crust. Age relationships of rocks from the Madibe greenstone belt and the Murchison greenstone belt suggest that the Kaapvaal Shield apparently experienced an episode of rapid crustal growth at around 3090 Ma along both the northern and western margins.

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