Abstract

The granitic and leucogranitic Yas and Schuitdrift Gneisses occur together as a large ovoid pre-tectonic batholith that crosses the Orange River border between South Africa and Namibia. They occur in the central parts of the Kakamas Domain in the Namaqua Sector of the Namaqua-Natal Metamorphic Province where they intrude, and are deformed together with, slightly older (~1.21 Ga) orthogneisses and granulite-facies metapelitic gneisses. The Yas Gneiss occurs mainly on the outer perimeter and northern parts of the batholith and comprises equigranular leucogranite gneiss and biotite granite augen orthogneiss, whereas the Schuitdrift biotite-hornblende augen gneiss is located at the centre and southern parts of the batholith. The batholith is strongly deformed with penetrative Namaqua-aged gneissic fabrics defined by grain-flattening of quartz and feldspar in the equigranular leucogneisses and aligned K-feldspar megacrysts in the augen gneisses. The gneissic fabric is refolded during a large-scale folding event that results in the dome-shape of the batholith and controls the present outcrop pattern of its various components. Flexure along the margins of the batholith refoliated the gneisses into a zone of mylonitic rocks. The Yas and Schuitdrift Gneisses have similar geochemistry and classify as alkali granites and alkali leucogranites. They are felsic (mean SiO2: 74.5 wt%) and potassic (mean K2O: 5.8 wt%) but have low MgO, CaO and Na2O, reflecting their low mafic mineral and plagioclase contents. The Schuitdrift Gneiss yielded U-Pb zircon ages of 1 191 ± 7 and 1 187 ± 6 Ma.

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