Using Palaeomagnetism to Determine Late Mesoproterozoic Palaeogeographic History and Tectonic Relations of the Sinclair Terrane, Namaqua Orogen, Namibia

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The Sinclair terrane is an important part of the Namaqua orogenic province in southern Namibia containing well-preserved Mesoproterozoic volcano-sedimentary successions suitable for palaeomagnetic and geochronological studies. The Guperas Formation in the upper part of the Sinclair stratigraphic assemblage contains both volcanic and sedimentary rocks cut by a bimodal dyke swarm with felsic members dated herein by U–Pb on zircon at c. 1105 Ma. Guperas igneous rocks yield a pre-fold direction and palaeomagnetic pole similar to that previously reported. Guperas sedimentary rocks yield positive conglomerate and fold tests, with a maximum concentration of characteristic remanence directions at 100% untilting. The combined Guperas data generate a palaeomagnetic pole of 69.8° N, 004.1° E (A95=7.4°, N=9). The 1105 Ma post-Guperas dykes yield stable remanence directions with positive baked-contact tests and a palaeomagnetic pole at 62.3° N, 031.9° E (A95=6.9°, N=26), which is coincident with that of the Kalahari-wide Umkondo large igneous province, demonstrating tectonic coherence of the Sinclair terrane with the Kalahari craton at the time of dyke emplacement. These results show that palaeomagnetic and geochronological studies of the Sinclair terrane can provide kinematic constraints on the tectonic evolution of the Namaqua–Natal–Maud orogenic belt and its role in the formation of the Rodinia supercontinent.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications, v. 424, p. 119-143