The palaeomagnetic significance of the Bushveld Complex and related 2 Ga magnetic rocks in ancient continental entities

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dc.contributor.author Letts, Shawn Andrew
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-26T12:36:13Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-26T12:36:13Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-26T12:36:13Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/4889
dc.description.abstract The Kaapvaal Craton was the scene of two major magmatic events around 2.0 Ga, namely the Bushveld Complex and the Phalaborwa Complex. Both complexes have been the subject of numerous palaeomagnetic studies during and prior to the 1980s. Despite these studies, systematic inconstancies for emplacement ages, in particular for the Bushveld Complex, have been found between the palaeomagnetic findings and well constrained ages. The greatest concern with the Bushveld Complex results are the large spread in pole positions previously determined for the different zones. This has been interpreted in prior studies to indicate that the Bushveld Complex was emplaced and cooled below the Curie temperature of magnetite over a time span of 50 my. The results obtained previously for the Phalaborwa Complex appear to be out of position (~16°) with respect to those for the Bushveld Complex. This is of concern because new geochronological data show that the Rustenburg Layered Suite of the Bushveld Complex was emplaced approximately 1 my after the Phalaborwa Complex. These inconsistencies have prompted the current re-investigation of the palaeomagnetic results for both the Bushveld Complex and the Phalaborwa Complex. New palaeomagnetic data collected from all zones of the Rustenburg Layered Suite from the Eastern, Northern and Western Lobes of the Bushveld Complex, yielded palaeomagnetic poles that eliminated the spread in the apparent polar wander path. This observation is in agreement with precise age data, constraining the time period of emplacement of the complex to ~ 6 my. Resulting beddingcorrected high blocking components from all zones produced better groupings, thereby supporting a primary magnetic signature and indicating that the complex was intruded in a near-horizontal position. Dual polarities identified within each zone of the complex and positive reversal tests have identified one of the oldest known reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field. iii Palaeomagnetic data from the Phalaborwa Complex have produced a pole position that is in close proximity to those obtained from the coeval Bushveld Complex. In an attempt to achieve a better understanding of tectonic events occurring in the Kaapvaal Craton a number of dual polarity dykes within the Bushvled and Phalaborwa Complexes were palaeomagnetic analysed. Results revealed that the acquired pole positions are in agreement with ~1.9 Ga dykes, indicating the possibility that the dykes occurring in both complexes are part of the same magmatic event. Palaeopoles generated during this study were used in refining the Kaapvaal Craton apparent polar wander path around 2.0 Ga, and in conjunction with other welldefined 2.0 Ga poles for the Kaapvaal Craton, a robust cratonic pole was produced that was used in Precambrian palaeographic reconstructions with emphasis on the postulated Vaalbara continent and the Columbia supercontinent. Palaeomagnetic reconstruction derived in this study has cast doubt on the existence of the Vaalbara continent at 2.0 Ga. Although, some support is given to the existence of the Columbia supercontinent at the same period. en
dc.format.extent 14737139 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject palaeomagnetics en
dc.subject Bushveld Complex en
dc.subject Phalaborwa Complex en
dc.subject reconstruction en
dc.title The palaeomagnetic significance of the Bushveld Complex and related 2 Ga magnetic rocks in ancient continental entities en
dc.type Thesis en


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