The Limpopo Belt of southern Africa is a Neoarchean orogenic belt located between two older Archean provinces, the Zimbabwe craton to the north and the Kaapvaal craton to the south. Previous studies considered the Limpopo Belt to be a linearly trending east-northeast belt with a width of ∼250 km and ∼600 km long. We provide evidence from gravity data constrained by seismic and geochronologic data suggesting that the Limpopo Belt is much larger than previously assumed and includes the Shashe Belt in Botswana, thus defining a southward convex orogenic arc sandwiched between the two cratons. The 2 Ga Magondi orogenic belt truncates the Limpopo-Shahse Belt to the west. The northern marginal, central and southern marginal tectonic zones define a single gravity anomaly on upward continued maps, indicating that they had the same exhumation history. This interpretation requires a tectonic model involving convergence between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons during a Neoarchean orogeny that preserved the thick cratonic keel that has been imaged in tomographic models.
R. T. Ranganai et al., "Gravity Evidence for a Larger Limpopo Belt in Southern Africa and Geodynamic Implications," Geophysical Journal International, vol. 149, no. 3, pp. F9-F14, Oxford University Press, Jun 2002.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-246X.2002.01703.x
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Craton; Geodynamics; Gravity Survey; Orogenic Belt; Tectonic Setting; South Africa; Gravity; Limpopo Belt; Southern Africa
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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