Alkaline intrusives from the Tugela terrane, Natal metamorphic province.
Scogings, Andrew John.
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Three gneissose alkaline granitoid intrusives at Ngoye, Bulls Run and Wangu are described. They are located within the Nkomo Nappe of the Tugela Terrane, near the northern margin of the Natal Metamorphic Province. The Ngoye Complex comprises alkaline granites, with minor syenite and monzodiorite phases. According to modal am geochemical criteria the Ngoye granites range from peraluminous (muscovite-bearing), through metaluminous (biotite- and/or hornblende-bearing), to peralkaline (riebeckite-, aegirine- and magnetite-bearing). The granites are A-types according to their modal and geochemical characteristics. Rb-Sr isotopic data for the hornblende granites indicate an age of 1063 ± 17 Ma and the initial ratio (R๐ = 0.7025) provides evidence for derivation from a mantle source. Plotting of the Ngoye geochemistry on tectonic-discrimination diagrams suggests intrusion into rifted continental crust. It is concluded that the gneissose Ngoye granites constitute a deformed central complex, similar to anorogenic complexes in Nigeria and the Sudan. The Bulls Run Complex is situated 30 km west of the Ngoye Complex. A concentric outcrop pattern has been mapped, according to which an envelope of silica-saturated biotite-muscovite syenite surrounds a core of nepheline-bearing syenites. Minor intrusive phases include biotite-rich dykes, sovite carbonatite sheets, silica-oversaturated microsyenite dykes and feldspathic ijolite. The outer envelope of muscovite-rich syenite is interpreted as fenitised pelitic country rock. An alkali-lamprophyre origin is suggested for the biotite-rich dykes. Geochemically the syenites are predominantly miaskitic, apart from the microsyenite dykes which are mildly peralkaline. Rb-Sr isotopic data for the nepheline syenites indicate an age of 1138 ± 45 Ma (Ro = 0.70322). Carbonate separates from the carbonatites provide a similar low initial ratio (Ra = 0.70319) which supports a comagmatic mantle origin. A comparison is drawn between the Bulls Run Complex and miaskitic nepheline syenite gneisses in the mid-Proterozoic Grenville Province of canada. From this, it is suggested that the Bulls Run Complex is pretectonic and was intruded into the rifted passive margin of a continent. The Wangu Granite Gneiss is situated 3 km southwest of the Bulls Run Complex. The granites are fine grained and contain aegirine-augite and/or magnetite, and classify as alkali-feldspar granite. Peralkaline chemistry is characteristic of the Wangu granites, with trace-elenent contents indicating a distinct A-type signature. Biotite-rich mafic dykes intrude the southern part of the Wangu outcrop and, on the basis of major- and trace-element signatures, are suggested to be metamorphosed volatile-rich alkaline lamprophyres similar to those at Bulls Run. Geochemical similarities between the Wangu granites and certain comendites from the Kenya Rift are noted. It is suggested that the Wangu granites were emplaced as high-level dykes, within rifted continental crust. It is proposed that the Ngoye, Bulls Run and Wangu intrusives be united as the Nkwaleni Suite. Comparison of the Tugela Terrane with the Grenville Province reveals many similarities, particularly their mid- to late-Proterozoic age and the occurrence of pre-tectonic anorogenic continental magmatism. It is concluded that, unlike the current model which would have the Tugela Terrane as obducted ophiolite, these new data indicate that the Tugela Terrane is a metamorphosed continental rift system.