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Age and geological context of the Barby Formation, a key volcanic unit in the Mesoproterozoic Sinclair Supergroup of southern Namibia.

Journal article
Authors Theresia Malobela
Ben Mapani
Martin Harris
David H. Cornell
Andreas KO Karlsson
Aron Johnsson
Caroline Lundell
Magnus Kristoffersen
Published in South African Journal of Geology
Volume 122
Issue 4
Pages 519-540
ISSN 0371-7208
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 519-540
Language en
Keywords Geochronology, Barby Formation, Sinclair Supergroup
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Sinclair Supergroup occur in the Konkiep Terrane of Southern Namibia. Three volcanic and sedimentary cycles are recognised. In this work we describe and date volcanic rocks of the Barby Formation, a key unit in the Sinclair area. The coeval Spes Bona Syenite and the Tiras Granite Gneiss are also described and dated. The rock types in the Barby Formation are rhyolites, basaltic trachyandesites, trachybasalts and trachydacites as well as volcanoclastic rocks. The rocks are largely undeformed and partly altered by deuteric and contact metamorphic processes but not regionally metamorphosed. Our samples represent both the calc-alkaline and alkaline trends documented in previous work. U-Pb ion probe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma (LA-ICP) multicollector mass spectrometer Lu-Hf microbeam analyses were made of zircon and baddeleyite grains from four samples. A felsic tuff sample from the base of the Barby Formation has a 207Pb/206Pb zircon age of 1214 ± 5 Ma (2σ). A rhomb porphyry sample from the top of an 8.5 km-thick stratigraphic section gives a 207Pb/206Pb baddeleyite age of 1217 ± 2 Ma. The Spes Bona Syenite which intrudes the top of the Barby Formation has a 207Pb/206Pb baddeleyite age of 1217 ± 3 Ma and an indistinguishable LA-ICP collision cell mass spectrometer Rb-Sr biotite isochron age of 1238 ± 20 Ma, showing that there was no >350°C regional metamorphic event.

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