Outline of lithostratigraphy, sedimentation and tectonics of the Tsodilo Hills Group, a Neoproterozoic-Lower Palaeozoic siliciclastic succession in NW Botswana

Marek Wendorff


Litostratygrafia, sedymentacja i tektonika grupy Tsolido Hills, neoproterozoiczno-dolnopaleozoicznej sukcesji silikoklastycznej w NW Botswanie

The Tsodilo Hills Group is an association of meta-quartzites, meta-conglomerates and quartz-mica schists altered to kyanite metamorphic grade and outcropping in NW Botswana. The unit is a part of the regional Neoproterozoic–Lower Palaeozoic succession deformed during the Pan-African orogenesis and present in the Damara belt of Namibia to the west, in which the main orogenic event occurred at ca. 534–516 Ma, and in the Katangan suite of the Lufilian arc in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north-east.
Sedimentary structures, textures, mineral composition, facies trends and palaeocurrent patterns suggest that the deposition of the Tsodilo Hills Group strata took place on an open continental shelf influenced by tides and supplied with siliciclastic material derived from a source area elevated to the south of the depository. The ongoing sedimentation was punctuated by two regressive stages. The older one is reflected by an association of red mudstone, siltstone and sandstones/quartzites, and incised in them channel-fill sandstone bodies with bimodal- bipolar palaeocurrent patterns, which are interpreted here as deposits of tidal mudflats intersected by tidal creeks. Enrichment of these rocks in phosphorous was probably caused by upwelling of deep ocean waters reflecting sea-level changes. The second regression was related to an increased input of terrigenous material and is indicated by a conglomerate marker bed.
Numerous shear zones, a few small-scale reverse faults and one major thrust, displacing strata towards the south-west, deform the succession. The degree of deformation evolves laterally along the strike of this structure from a prominent thrust in the southern part of the Tsodilo Hills to a thin shear zone in the north.

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