Abstract

The Koegel Fontein Igneous Complex in the Western Cape Province of South Africa is a high-level granite-syenite intrusive suite with minor plugs and dykes of felsic and mafic composition. Age dating and field relations show that the felsic rocks intruded as two sequential series, beginning with syenites and the Kerskloof suite of felsic dykes (andesite-trachyandesite, trachyte-rhyolite) at about 144 Ma, followed by the Rietpoort granite pluton and quartz-porphyry dykes at about 134 Ma. The intrusion of the mafic dykes and plugs took place between the two felsic series. The early Cretaceous age of the Koegel Fontein associates its formation with Gondwana breakup and establishment of the volcanic rifted margin in southwest Africa. This paper reports results from the first geochemical study of the Koegel Fontein Complex.

Two groups of mafic units are distinguished based on mineralogy, field characteristics and chemical composition. The tholeiitic group comprises basalt and basaltic andesites, the alkaline group ranges from basanite-tephrite to phono-tephrite and basaltic trachy-andesite. Distinctions of incompatible element concentrations (K, P, Ti) and ratios (Y/Nb, Zr/Nb) indicate the presence of two separate magma series. Regional dolerite dykes (Gariep dykes and others) associated with contemporary magmatism along the continental margin occur in and near the complex. These regional dolerites are much more homogeneous compositionally than the mafic dykes of Koegel Fontein. Compositionally, they closely resemble the less-differentiated tholeiite dykes.

The felsic units at Koegel Fontein show geochemical and isotopic evidence for two magma series, which correspond to the two intrusive episodes suggested by geochronology and field relations. The first series comprises the volumetrically minor intrusions of syenites, the Kerskloof dykes and the Rooivleitjie granite, with high values (ɛNd(t) from −0.4 to −1.8) indicating a strong mantle input. Similarities of trace element signatures suggest an affinity with the alkaline mafic units. The second series of felsic magmas makes up the bulk of the Koegel Fontein complex, with the large Rietpoort granite pluton and quartz-porphyry dykes (ɛNd(t) = −4.8 to −6.9). These rocks may be related to the tholeiitic mafic series but their isotopic composition indicates a large crustal component. The granitic rocks at Koegel Fontein have geochemical characteristics regarded as typical for anorogenic (A-type) granites, including high contents of Y, Nb, U and Th. In this and in many other features, the Koegel Fontein complex resembles the contemporary intrusive complexes in the Damaraland of northwest Namibia. Like the Damaraland granites, the Koegel Fontein magmas are of mixed origin, and their isotopic composition reflect the proportion of mantle vs. crustal source contributions.

You do not currently have access to this article.