May 2005 LIP of the Month

The Bushveld Large Igneous Province

Judith A. Kinnaird
School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand

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Figure 1: Simplified geological map of the Bushveld Large Igneous Province, which includes the Rustenburg Layered Suite, the Rooiberg Volcanics and the Lebowa Granite Suite

Overview of the Palaeoproterozoic Bushveld Igneous Province

The Palaeoproterozoic Bushveld Igneous Province in South Africa is comprised of:

  • a suite of mafic sills which intruded the floor rocks of Transvaal Supergroup
  • the bimodal but predominantly Rooiberg Group volcanic province: one of the largest pyroclastic provinces on Earth covering at least 50,000 km2 and up to 3 km thick
  • the Rustenburg Layered Suite, the largest and oldest mafic layered complex on Earth which covers an area of approximately 65,000 km2 and comprises anorthosites, mafic and ultramafic cumulates
  • the Lebowa Granite Suite
  • the Rashoop Granophyre Suite developed at the contacts between the granites and Rustenburg Layered Suite which is comprised of metamorphosed sediments and intrusive acidic rocks.
  • various satellite intrusions of similar age including the Molopo Farms and Nkomati - Uitkomst.