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A review of tectonic aspects of the Limpopo belt and other Archean high-grade gneissic terranesPublished information on the Archean high grade terrains varies a great deal in the detail available. Such information as exists indicates marked differences in the lithic types and proportions present in the central Limpopo belt compared with the better studies of the other Archean high grade terrains. These differences may be important because they are expressed by the presence in the Limpopo belt of subordinate, but significant quantities (about 5% each) of two rock suites likely to have formed on a shallow marine platform of significant size (Eriksson and Kidd, in prep.). These suites consist of thick sections dominantly consisting of either carbonate and calc-silicate, or of pure metaquartzites, often fuchsite bearing, whose lithic characters are unlike those expected for metacherts but are very like those expected for platform arenites. Isotopic ages suggest these sediments are probably older than 3.3 Ga and younger than 3.5 Ga. Studies lead to the conclusions that (1) continental fragments large enough to provide a substrate for significant platform arenite and carbonate sedimentation existed by 3.3 to 3.5 Ga ago; (2) Wilson cycle tectonics seems to adequately explain most major features of the Archean gneissic terranes; and (3) Tibetan-Himalayan style collisional tectonics 2.6 Ga and older accounts for the large scale relationships between the Limpopo belt and the adjacent Archean greenstone granitoid terrane cratons. By inference, other more fragmentary Archean gneissic terranes may have once been part of such collisional zones.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kidd, W. S. F. (State Univ. of New York Albany, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst. Workshop on the Early Earth: The Interval from Accretion to the Older Archean
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19850024749Analytic PrimaryWorkshop on the Early Earth: The Interval from Accretion to the Older Archean