In situ U-Pb dating of monazite and xenotime in gold reefs and unmineralized greenschist facies sedimentary rocks from the Witwatersrand basin, South Africa, reveals two episodes of tectonothermal activity. A major event between 2.06 and 2.03 Ga is recorded in the Witwatersrand and Transvaal Supergroups in the northwestern and central basin, and broadly coincides with the ca. 2.06 Ga Bushveld event. In the central and southern basin, a previously unrecognized event has been dated between 2.14 and 2.12 Ga. The widespread geographic and stratigraphic occurrence of Bushveld-aged monazite and xenotime, including both auriferous reefs and unmineralized strata, indicates that metamorphism and fluid flow associated with magmatism was pervasive, affecting most of the succession (>10 km thick) in the central and northern parts of the basin. The metamorphic phosphate dates, which are younger away from the complex, indicate a lag of 20-30 m.y. between emplacement and phosphate growth in the central basin (similar to 100 km south), suggesting that heat related to magmatism was transferred southward at an average rate of 3-5 mm yr(-1). The absence of 2.06-2.03 Ga phosphates in the Welkom goldfield at the southern end of the basin implies that Bushveld-related heating and fluid flow did not affect this part of the basin. The intergrowth of ca. 2.045 Ga monazite with gold in quartz-pebble conglomerate from the West Rand goldfield indicates that fluid flow related to the Bushveld event caused mobilization of gold in the Witwatersrand basin.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|