Abstract

The Twakputs Gneiss is a garnetiferous, K-feldspar megacrystic, biotite granite-granodiorite orthogneiss. It represents a major unit in the Kakamas Domain of the Mesoproterozoic Namaqua-Natal Metamorphic Province extending about 250 km between Riemvasmaak in South Africa and Grünau in southern Namibia. The Twakputs Gneiss occurs as foliation-parallel, sheet-like bodies tightly infolded together with granulite-facies paragneisses into which it intrudes along with a variety of other pre-tectonic granite and leucogranite orthogneisses. These rocks were subsequently intruded by late-tectonic garnet-leucogranites, granites and charnockites.

The Twakputs Gneiss is a distinctive unit characterised by large ovoid to elongate megacrysts of twinned perthitic K-feldspar, set in a coarse-grained matrix of garnet, biotite, quartz and feldspar. It contains a penetrative foliation defined by the alignment of K-feldspars and streaks of biotite that developed during the main phase D2 of the Namaqua Orogeny (~1.2 to 1.1 Ga). The foliation and an accompanying elongation lineation are more intensely developed along lithological contacts, especially at the margins of the mega-scale F3 domes and basins that refold the regional fabrics.

U-Pb zircon dating of the Twakputs Gneiss has yielded concordia ages of between ~1192 and 1208 Ma. Whole-rock geochemistry shows consistent major, trace and REE elemental trends, and thus reflect chemical variability from a single fractionating magma. The Twakputs Gneiss has a granitic to granodiorite composition and is strongly peraluminous. The geochemistry and the ubiquitous presence of garnet and pelitic xenoliths indicate an S-type granite protolith.

The Twakputs Gneiss is the most voluminous and widespread member of the Eendoorn Suite which comprises seven textural variants of garnetiferous, K-feldspar-megacrystic granitoid orthogneiss of the same age.

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