The Bloubergstrand Member, consisting of mafic to intermediate tuffs and flows within the Tygerberg Formation of the Malmesbury Group, is a crucial but understudied component of the western Saldania Belt in southwestern Africa. With a U-Pb zircon age of 555 ± 5 Ma, these volcanic rocks provide valuable insights into the origins and, more broadly, the tectonic setting of the Saldania Belt during the final stages of Malmesbury Group sedimentation in the context of the construction of southwestern Gondwana at approximately 560 to 540 Ma.

The Bloubergstrand Member amygdaloidal volcanic rocks vary from basaltic andesitic to andesitic and have experienced varying degrees of alteration. The volcanic rocks are enriched in the large ion lithophile elements (LILE) relative to the high field strength elements (HFSE). When normalised to primitive mantle values, they show enrichment in Cs, Rb, K and Pb and mild enrichment in Th, U, Zr and Hf, with the light rare earth elements (LREE) enriched relative to the heavy rare earth elements (HREE). They are depleted in Ba, Nb, Ta, Sr, Eu, P and Ti. εNd(t) values are mildly negative ranging from -3.60 to -2.39, and Nd TDM model ages range from 1.4 to 1.7 Ga. Initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios vary from 0.70478 to 0.70620, with one higher value of 0.72270, the latter likely due to extensive alteration.

The Bloubergstrand Member volcanic rocks exhibit characteristics suggesting their origin from partial melting of lithospheric to transitional asthenospheric upper mantle, influenced by sediment-derived melts and variable degrees of crustal contamination. With continental arc basalt compositions and similarities to shoshonites, the samples reflect variable degrees of partial melting and source heterogeneities. Fractional crystallisation of pyroxenes, hornblende, and plagioclase contributes to compositional variability. Erupting in a continental arc margin, likely part of the Arachania block of the Kalahari craton, separated during the Tonian break-up of Rodinia, the volcanics were associated with the Marmora basin formed by eastward-directed subduction below the western Kaapvaal Craton margin. Extruded in a distal position relative to the Cuchilla Dionisio Arc in present-day southern Brazil and Uruguay, these volcanic rocks preceded the closure of the southern Marmora basin. The mantle melting, possibly a result of slab roll-back, break-off, ridge subduction, or a combination, served as a precursor to the lower crustal heating that generated the granitic magmas of the Cape Granite Suite.

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