The Interpretation Of Multiple Foliations In Metapelites: An Example From NW-Namibia

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 4:45 PM
Cees W Passchier, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
Foliations in metapelites belong to the most important tools in structural geology to reconstruct deformation history and kinematics. Since foliations are easily developed and are hard to destroy, multiple foliations, associated with other structures such as folds and boudins, serve as a basis in reconstructing the tectonic history of all metamorphic terrains. Traditionally, such reconstructions assume regionally homogeneous tectonic effects producing distinct generations of structures, which are then labelled D1, D2, D3 etc.

The Goantagab Domain in NW Namibia consists of Neoproterozoic pelitic and psammitic metaturbidites with only minor changes in facies, exposed over an area of 80x40km. The rocks were deformed in a transpressive Neoproterozoic to Cambrian tectonic event during the amalgamation of Gondwanaland. Five overprinting foliations can be recognised in the area, but only three are recognisable at any location and no foliation extends over the entire area. Apparently, small variations in kinematic vorticity and other kinematic parameters and in orientation of incremental strain axes lead to local foliation development and to gradients in foliation style. The similarity in field and microstructure of the different foliations, and gradations in their development make a classical approach using D1-D2-D3 labelling problematic. Since the fieldwork area is very well exposed, it is possible to determine which factors lead to local development and destruction of foliations during ongoing ductile deformation. Detailed analysis of the local foliation architecture and history is used to explore new methods in structural geology to handle complex multiple foliations in metamorphic terrains