The Sub-Kalahari geology and tectronic evolution of the Kalahari basin, Southern Africa

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dc.contributor.author Haddon, Ian Gerald
dc.date.accessioned 2006-02-15T07:57:50Z
dc.date.available 2006-02-15T07:57:50Z
dc.date.issued 2006-02-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/193
dc.description Ph.D. - Geology en
dc.description.abstract Geophysical, borehole and mapped data from the Kalahari Basin were used to create maps of the sub-Kalahari geology, isopachs of the Kalahari Group and basal gravels and a sub-Kalahari topographical surface. These are the first basin-wide maps of this type to be produced. These new data were interpreted with the aid of an extensive literature review as well as data gathered at three localities in the southern part of the Kalahari Basin and enabled several conclusions to be made regarding the tectonic evolution of the area. The sub-Kalahari Geological Map shows that rocks dating from the Archaean to present are exposed on the edges of the basin as well as covered by the Kalahari Group sedimentary rocks. Many of the rocks shown on the sub-Kalahari geological map record a history of rifting and subsequent collision, with the NE and SW trending structures appearing to have been reactivated at various times in the geological past. The extent of Karoo Supergroup rocks is greater than previously thought and Karoo sedimentary and volcanic rocks cover a large percentage of the sub-Kalahari surface. The Karoo Supergroup lithologies have been intruded by dolerite dykes and sills and the massive Botswana Dyke Swarm is shown on the sub-Kalahari map extending in a northwest direction across Botswana. The subtraction of the thicknesses of Kalahari Group sediments from the current topographical digital elevation model (DEM) of Africa in order to prepare a DEM of the sub-Kalahari topographical surface and the preparation of an isopach map of the basal gravels gives some indication of the courses followed by Mid-Cretaceous rivers. Topographic profiles along the proposed courses of these rivers show that the floor of the Kalahari Basin has a particularly low elevation in certain areas suggesting that downwarp of the interior of the basin rather than adjacent uplift was the driving force behind Kalahari Group sedimentation. When down-warp of the Kalahari Basin began in the Late Cretaceous these rivers were back-tilted into the newly formed basin and deposition of the Kalahari Group sediments began. The basal unit of the Kalahari Group consists of gravels deposited by the Cretaceous rivers as well as on scree slopes. As down-warp of the basin continued, so more gravels were deposited as well as the sand and -iifiner sediment carried by the rivers. Thick clay beds accumulated in the lakes that formed by the back-tilted rivers, with sandstone being deposited in braided streams interfingering with the clays and covering them in some areas as the shallow lakes filled up with sediment. During the Mid-Miocene there was a period of tectonic stability that saw the silcretisation and calcretisation of older Kalahari Group lithologies. At the end of the Miocene there was some uplift along the eastern side of southern Africa as well as along certain epeirogenic axes in the interior. In general this uplift was fairly gentle. Later more significant uplift in the Pliocene possibly elevated Kalahari Group and Karoo Supergroup sedimentary rocks above the basin floor and exposed many of them to erosion. The eroded sand was washed into the basin and reworked into dunes during drier periods. This uplift occurred along epeirogenic axes and was greater than the Miocene uplift. The development of the East African Rift System (EARS) in the Late Eocene or Oligocene has had a significant influence on the Kalahari Basin. Reactivation of older NE-SW trends by SWpropagating rifts extending from the main EARS is evident by recent movement along faults along the Damara Belt and those that were associated with Karoo sedimentation and post-Karoo graben formation. The propagating rifts have resulted in uplifting, faulting and in some cases, graben formation. In some cases lakes have formed in the grabens or half-grabens themselves and in other cases they have been formed between the uplifted arches related to parallel rifts. The propagating rifts have had a strong influence on the drainage patterns and shape of the Kalahari Basin, in particular in the middle parts of the basin where they have controlled the formation of the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi pans en
dc.format.extent 1119062 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en
dc.subject South Africa en
dc.subject Kalahari Basin en
dc.subject evolution en
dc.subject tectonic en
dc.subject geology en
dc.title The Sub-Kalahari geology and tectronic evolution of the Kalahari basin, Southern Africa en
dc.type Thesis en


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