The Belingwe greenstone belt, Zimbabwe–some new age constraints and implications for greenstone belt evolution

Axel Hofmann, Xian‐Hua Li, Dwight C. Bradley, Fabien Humbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Neoarchaean Belingwe greenstone belt of the Zimbabwe craton consists of a well-preserved succession of rocks of low metamorphic grade and low strain. We present new age constraints for the Ngezi Group of the belt and discuss them in the light of greenstone belt evolution. We propose crustal destabilization of the Zimbabwe proto-craton as a result of a global flare of mantle-derived magmatism at ~ 2.75 Ga. This gave rise to extension of a Mesoarchaean granitoid-greenstone terrain, rapid subsidence and, initially, deposition of a transgressive cover succession (Manjeri Formation). High degrees of stretching of proto-cratonic and mantle lithosphere provided accommodation space for the emplacement of several kilometres of submarine volcanic rocks on deeply submerged granitoid-greenstone basement, herein referred to as proto-cratonic flood basalts. Once extension and magmatism had ceased, chemical and clastic sedimentary rocks of the Cheshire Formation were deposited prior to 2.71 Ga as a result of, and subjected to, compressional deformation, and much earlier than previously assumed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Geology Review
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Archaean
  • Belingwe greenstone belt
  • Zimbabwe craton
  • tectonic setting
  • zircon dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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