The Northern Marginal Zone of the Limpopo Belt in southern Africa comprises a Plutonic Assemblage of granitoids including a distinctive suite of porphyroclastic granites. and a much less abundant Supracrustal Assemblage of metabasites and iron formations. These rocks are at granulite facies above a normal thickness of continental crust. Most of the Plutonic Assemblage are intrusive rocks that crystallized from dry melts from 2800 to 2600 Ma, with a relatively simple thermal history. They may have been derived from partial melting of a mafic source. Some supracrustal rocks have experienced two thermal events at granulite facies.
A reverse-sense shear zone forms the boundary of the Northern Marginal Zone with the Zimbabwe craton. The southern boundary is the Triangle shear zone, which is proven as a continuous structure along a much greater strike length than previously documented. A widespread sub-vertical foliation in the Northern Marginal Zone and the reverse shear zone formed during progressive NNW-SSE shortening. Crustal thickening occurred both magmatically and tectonically in the late Archaean, and was accompanied by synchronous uplift. Protracted magmatism provides a mechanism to incorporate supracrustal rocks into the lower crust, and can explain the occurrence of more than a single thermal event.