Abstract

The Taita Hills–Galana River region is a key area to demonstrate the polycyclic nature of the Mozambique Belt in SE Kenya. On the basis of petrological and tectonic data, this area is composed of two different granulite-facies terranes, which are separated by the 20–30 km wide Galana Shear Zone. The Taita Hills and adjoining Sagala Hills exhibit a metamorphic overprint at 630–645 Ma, similar to areas in Tanzania. An emplacement age for the magmatic precursor rocks of 850–960 Ma was derived from zircon cores. Sm–Nd garnet–whole-rock analyses give an age of 585 Ma, interpreted as the cooling age after 630–645 Ma metamorphism. Nd crustal residence ages are between 1000 and 1500 Ma. The Galana Shear Zone east of the Taita Hills contains strongly deformed tonalitic migmatites with interlayered pegmatites that date a younger tectonometamorphic event at 560–580 Ma. East of the shear zone only a young metamorphic age of 550 Ma was found. The Nd model ages are c. 1500 Ma to c. 2900 Ma. In a continental configuration prior to Gondwana break-up our study area was located close to Madagascar, where several large shear zones are observed. One of these shear zones (Ranotsara Shear Zone) may be a continuation of the Galana Shear Zone.

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