The geology and geochemistry of the volcanic rocks of the Pongola sequence in southern Swaziland.
The ~3.0 Ga Pongola Sequence, comprising a lower dominantly volcanic Nsuze Group and an upper largely sedimentary Mozaan Group, crops out in the Mahlangatsha and Kubuta areas of southern Swaziland. The Nsuze Group consists of basaltic, andesitic, dacitic and rhyolitic rocks with intercalations of ferruginous shale and pyrophyllitic schists. The Mozaan Group comprises quartzites, ferruginous shales, basalts and minor amounts of andalusite and sericitic schists. In the study area in southern Swaziland the Pongola Sequence is represented by a northerly striking lens of metavolcanic basaltic rocks extending southwards to the Ngwavuma River valley. These lavas comprise basalts, basaltic andesites and very minor rhyolites that are amygdaloidal and vesicular in places. Hunter (1952) tentatively correlated these metabasaltic rocks with the Nsuze Group but the geochemistry indicates that an upper Mozaan correlation is more likely. In the study area four stages of deformation have been deduced: a cleavage development (D1); low angle thrusting and bedding-parallel thrust faulting (D2); normal/oblique slip faulting (D3) and fracturing/jointing (D4). There has been duplication of strata by thrusting and normal faulting. Absence of marker beds prevents the determination of the degree of duplication. It is clear from the geochemical analysis that there are two broad groups of data from the suite, one from the Sigwe Hills in the north and the other from south of the Ngwavuma River. The samples from south of the Ngwavuma River are enriched in TiO2, AI2O3, CaO, Cr, Zr and Nb compared to the samples from Sigwe Hills. These volcanic rocks are tholeiitic in nature and indicate a within plate continental setting.