Petrology, geochemistry and uranium mineralisation of post-collisional magmatism around Goanikontes, southern Central Zone, Damaran Orogen, Namibia

PAM Nex, JA Kinnaird, Grahame John Henderson Oliver

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The Goanikontes area lies within the southern Central Zone of the northeast trending branch of the Damara Orogen. The cover succession around Goanikontes, which comprises Etusis to Chaos Formation metasediments, is in tectonic contact with older pre-Damaran basement rocks. The area can be divided into three structural domains with basement in the east, a northeast-plunging anticline of Damaran metasediments to the west and a high strain zone up to I km wide that separates them and truncates the anticline. The high strain zone has provided an important focus for the emplacement of sheeted granites adjacent to the basement-cover contact. Goanikontes is also one of several significant uranium anomalies within the Damaran Orogen, and the excellent 3D exposure of the Swakop river has provided evidence for an interpretation of the tectono-metamorphic setting of magmatism and mineralisation. The granitoids have been divided into equigranular granites and sheeted leucogranites. The sequence of emplacement of the equigranular granites is from red syenogranite (534 +/- 7 Ma) to later grey monzogranite (517 +/- 7 Ma) with foliated basement-hosted granite of probable time equivalence to the syenogranites, Each type can be distinguished on major- and trace-element geochemistry. The later sheeted leucogranites, which are volumetrically the most important. intrude both basement and cover rocks. These have been divided into six distinct types based on field characteristics and structural setting backed by geochemical data and fluid extraction analyses. The earliest type A are irregular in form, boudinaged and folded by D-3, and geochemically distinct with notably low HFSE: type B's are white, weakly foliated, folded by D-3. garnetiferous and highly peraluminous; type C are tourmaline-bearing, occasionally boudinaged and exhibit the typical sheet-form within the cover rocks. Of the post-D-3 sheets, type D, which is restricted to the high strain zone is characterised by smoky quartz. high radioactivity and often by visible betafite or beta-uranophane; type E, the dominant type within the high strain zone contains prominent oxidation haloes and type F is red in colour. coarsely pegmatitic and has the highest concentration of alkalis. The uranium-mineralised type D sheets have consistently higher fluid and CO2 content than other sheeted leucogranites. The close correlation between sheet type and uranium abundance, supported by linear trends on LIL plots suggests that the distribution of radiogenic elements is primarily magmatic with more recent meteoric re-distribution, rather than due to substantial hydrothermal modification (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-502
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • post-collisional magmatism
  • uranium
  • Damara Orogen
  • Namibia
  • BELT


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