In an attempt to better understand the tectonic evolution of the continental crust forming SW Angola, zircon grains from the principal Precambrian rock types exposed in the Lubango area have been analysed using the sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe method. U–Pb ages of 2038 ± 28 Ma and 1954 ± 6 Ma were obtained on weakly deformed granite samples from the basement below the Humpata Plateau. The Chela Group on the Humpata Plateau is a relatively undeformed Palaeoproterozoic supracrustal sequence with an eruptive age of 1798 ± 11 Ma on ignimbrite of the Humpata Formation. The age of the northern part of the Kunene Complex is constrained by zircon data from a xenolith of basement gneiss and a mangerite dyke cutting anorthosite, which give an emplacement age of 1385 ± 7 Ma. The c. 2.0 Ga granites below the Chela Group are part of a Palaeoproterozoic granitoid terrane that extends from north of Lubango in Angola into NW Namibia. This terrane is referred to as the Angolan Shield. Regionally, the Angolan Shield is interpreted to be part of a Palaeoproterozoic magmatic arc that extends NE from Angola and Namibia under Phanerozoic cover into NW Zambia. The resultant crustal terrane defined the southern margin of the developing Congo Craton at c. 2.0 ± 0.04 Ga.
Tables summarizing the zircon U–Pb data are available at www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18577.