Abstract

The Donkieboud Granodiorite pluton forms an extensive intrusion across the border region between South Africa and southeast Namibia. The mesocratic grey, weakly to moderately K-feldspar porphyritic biotite ± hornblende ± orthopyroxene granodiorite represents the most extensive member of the late- to post-tectonic Komsberg Suite (~1 125 to 1 105 Ma) which intruded as sheet-like bodies into the older high grade paragneisses and orthogneisses (~1 230 to 1 140 Ma) of the Kakamas Domain of the Mesoproterozoic Namaqua-Natal Province. The Donkieboud Granodiorite comprises three main textural variations namely:

  • a porphyritic to weakly porphyritic, relatively undeformed rock with randomly orientated ovoid and twinned feldspar phenocrysts;

  • a weakly- to well-foliated gneiss with between 3 to 10% feldspar phenocrysts set in a medium-grained matrix and

  • a patchy metamorphic charnockite variety. Large inclusions of the strongly foliated Twakputs (~1 210 Ma) and the Witwater (~1 140 Ma) garnetiferous granite gneisses occur within the Donkieboud Granodiorite and mafic xenoliths are common.

The Donkieboud Granodiorite is variably deformed ranging from unfoliated to being gneissic. The foliation developed during its intrusion into an existing but waning regional stress field with the strain increasing towards the contacts with the surrounding country rocks. Subsequent km-scale open folding resulted in the reorientation of the gneissic foliation and locally, intense reworking of the fabrics along the margins of the folds. In places, the Donkieboud unit is crosscut by discrete mylonitic shears with a west to northwest trend.

U-Pb zircon dating of the Donkieboud Granodiorite samples yielded concordia ages of between 1 118 and 1 107 Ma. Overall the Donkieboud Granodiorite has an intermediate to felsic composition (mean SiO2: 63.9 ± 2.2 wt.%) and is strongly metaluminous. This, together with its biotite-hornblende ± orthopyroxene mineral assemblage and the abundance of mafic xenoliths, suggests it is an I-type granitoid, with the source magma produced by partial melting of older igneous rocks that had not undergone any significant amount of chemical weathering. The εNd values of -1.15 and -0.11 and TDM values of 1 615 and 1 505 Ma are typical of the Komsberg Suite and indicate a significant contribution of older crustal material to the magma of the Donkieboud pluton.

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