Abstract

Detrital zircon grains from three samples of sandstone from the Tswaane Formation of the Okwa Group of Botswana have been dated by U-Pb and analysed for Hf isotopes by multicollector LA-ICPMS. The detrital zircon age distribution pattern of the detrital zircons is dominated by a mid-Palaeoproterozoic age fraction (2 000 to 2 150 Ma) with minor late Archaean – early Palaeoproterozoic fractions. The 2 000 to 2 150 Ma zircon grains show a range of epsilon Hf from -12 to 0. The observed age and Hf isotope distributions overlap closely with those of sandstones of the Palaeoproterozoic Waterberg Group and Keis Supergroup of South Africa, but are very different from Neoproterozoic deposits in the region, and from the Takatswaane siltstone of the Okwa Group, all of which are dominated by detrital zircon grains younger than 1 950 Ma. The detrital zircon data indicate that the sources of Tswaane Formation sandstones were either Palaeoproterozoic rocks in the basement of the Kaapvaal Craton, or recycled Palaeoproterozoic sedimentary rocks similar to the Waterberg, Elim or Olifantshoek groups of South Africa. This implies a significant shift in provenance regime between the deposition of the Takatswaane and Tswaane formations. However, the detrital zircon data are also compatible with a completely different scenario in which the Tswaane Formation consists of Palaeoproterozoic sedimentary rock in tectonic rather than depositional contact with the other units of the Okwa Group.

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