Abstract

S-type granites correspond to reworking of pre-existing continental material and form by partial melting of (meta)sediments. Early-to-mid Archaean S-type granites are rare and are more frequently found, usually as relatively small intrusions, during the Neoarchaean and the Archaean-Proterozoic transition. In the context of Archaean geology, their paucity is therefore significant, in that it matches the uncommon nature of processes during this period. In this study, we focus on the Late Mesoarchaean Willie pluton and Neoarchaean Lekkersmaak pluton, which crop out to the south of the Murchison Greenstone Belt in the Northern Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa. These intrusions represent the oldest S-type plutons known so far in the region. We constrain their petrogenesis by documenting their petrology, mineralogy (mineral composition), geochemistry (major and trace elements, Sr, Nd and O isotopes) and zircon U-Pb geochronology. The large Lekkersmaak and smaller Willie plutons represent two granites sharing many geochemical characteristics; they are both peraluminous, Ms-bearing S-type granites although they are more sodic and less potassic than typical S-type granites. The Willie granite was emplaced 2 816 ± 9 Ma ago while the Lekkersmaak yielded an emplacement age of 2 771 ± 2 Ma. Therefore, S-Type magmatism in the area occurred twice at 2.82 Ga and then 40 Myr later at 2.77 Ga, involving comparable immature metasedimentary sources and conditions of partial melting. Finally, a sample from the Lekkersmaak pluton devoid of S-type features as it is muscovite-free and aluminum poor was emplaced 2 734 ± 11 Ma ago. This confirms the episodic nature of magmatic activity south of the Murchison Greenstone Belt.

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