When was the Limpopo Orogeny?

J. M. Barton, D. D. van Reenen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


The term "Limpopo Orogeny" refers to the common high-grade metamorphic and tectonic event that affected the Archaean rocks of the Central and Southern Marginal Zones of the Limpopo Belt and its influence on the adjacent portions of the Kaapvaal Craton. Available geochronological data from muscovite-kyanite prograde metamorphic assemblages, zircon in igneous charnoenderbite and enderbite, muscovite in syntectonic pegmatite bodies formed in shear zones, partial melts and syn- and post-tectonic plutons of granodiorite and granite indicate that this orogeny occurred during the time interval from ∼ 2700 Ma ago to ∼ 2650 Ma ago. The retrograde phase of this orogeny, from the onset of the response phase (M2) until the rocks were subjected to rehydration (M3), was very rapid, probably lasting ∼ 7 Ma from ∼ 2671 Ma to ∼ 2664 Ma ago. Similar but limited data from the Northern Marginal Zone and adjacent portions of the Zimbabwe Craton suggest that rocks there were subjected to a more recent interval of high-grade metamorphism and tectonism, extending from ∼ 2600 Ma until ∼ 2550 Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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