Intrusive origin for Upper Group (UG1, UG2) stratiform chromitite seams in the Dwars River area, Bushveld Complex, South Africa

Ronald Voordouw, Jens Gutzmer, Nicolas J. Beukes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Detailed geological mapping, core logging and petrographic analysis are supplemented with geochemical data to evaluate the petrogenesis of the Upper Group (UG1, UG2) stratiform chromitite seams in the Dwars River area, Bushveld Complex. Seven important and widespread features of UG1 and UG2 chromitite are addressed: (1) chromitite seams are dissociated from specific silicate successions and enclosed in Cr-rich silicates with a common genetic origin, (2) chromitite seams cut structures and textures in host silicates, have vein-like structures and host xenoliths, (3) chromitite seams are braided, (4) chromite grain distributions suggest flow segregation, (5) silicates in chromitite seams have modal proportions, forms and compositions different from those in binding silicate rocks, (6) PGE distributions in UG2 chromitite suggest flow segregation, and (7) chromitite seams are bound by coarse-grained silicates possibly formed through contact heating and/or de-volatization. These features are integrated into a model whereby UG chromitite seams developed from the intrusion of chromite crystal slurries. This model proposes that chromite grains first accumulated within structural traps of the Bushveld conduits, and that these accumulations were then re-mobilized with silicate melt (± sulfides and/or fluids?) to spread laterally as chromite crystal slurries within the layered ultramafic-mafic cumulates of the Bushveld Complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-94
Number of pages20
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Volume97
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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