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Eclogite and Garnet Pyroxenite Xenoliths from Kimberlites Emplaced Along the Southern Margin of the Kaapvaal Craton, Southern Africa: Mantle or Lower Crustal Fragments?

Abstract : Eclogite xenoliths, together with garnet pyroxenites and some mafic garnet granulites, found in kimberlites located along the southern margin of the Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa have been analysed by electron microprobe and mass spectrometry techniques to determine their geochemical characteristics. The majority of eclogites are bimineralic with garnet and omphacitic clinopyroxene in subequal proportions, with rutile as the main accessory phase; a few contain kyanite. Based on K 2 O in clinopyroxene and Na 2 O in garnet, the eclogites can be classified as Group II eclogites, and the majority are high-Ca in character. Garnet pyroxenites comprise garnet clinopyroxenites and garnet websterites. Major and trace element concentrations and isotope ratios of reconstituted bulk rock compositions of the eclogites and garnet pyroxenites allow constraints to be placed on depth of origin and likely protolith history. Calculated Fe-Mg exchange equilibration temperatures for the eclogites range from 815 to 1000 °C, at pressures of 1.7±0.4 GPa as determined by REE partitioning, indicating that they were sampled from depths of 50-55 km; i.e. within the lower crust of the Namaqua-Natal Belt. The garnet pyroxenites show slightly lower temperatures (686-835 o C) at similar pressures of equilibration. Initial 143 Nd/ 144 Nd and 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios (calculated to time of kimberlite emplacement) of both lithologies overlap the field for lower crustal samples from the Namaqua-Natal Belt. Further evidence for a crustal origin is found in the similar REE patterns shown by many of the associated garnet granulite xenoliths. Garnet pyroxenites are interpreted to have a similar origin as the associated eclogites but with the mafic protolith having insufficient Na (i.e. low modal plagioclase) to allow for development of omphacitic pyroxene. Metamorphism of the mafic protoliths to these eclogites and garnet pyroxenites is inferred to have occurred during crustal shortening and thickening associated with the collision of the Namaqua-Natal Belt with the Kaapvaal craton at 1-1.2 Ga.
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Anton Le Roex, Christel Tinguely, Michel Grégoire. Eclogite and Garnet Pyroxenite Xenoliths from Kimberlites Emplaced Along the Southern Margin of the Kaapvaal Craton, Southern Africa: Mantle or Lower Crustal Fragments?. Journal of Petrology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020, 61 (4), ⟨10.1093/petrology/egaa040⟩. ⟨insu-03093827⟩

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