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Ghana falls mostly within the West African Craton which stabilised in the early Proterozoic (2000 Ma) during the Eburnean Orogeny. This orogeny also stabilised the Zaire Craton and affected vast parts of Western Africa and neighbouring regions in South America that were conterminous with the Eburnean tectonothermal province. Outside South Africa, the West African Craton is the second largest region in Africa where lower Proterozoic rocks are extensively preserved. These early Proterozoic rocks comprise extensive belts of metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks exposed in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote d'Ivoire. On the east and west, the Craton is bounded by late Proterozoic mobile belts (700 - 500 Ma) referred to as the Pan African mobile belts. Recent reviews of the geology of Ghana by Kesse (1985), Wright (1985) and Leube et al. (1990) provide useful summaries. These reviews are particularly relevant because of the attention paid to mineral resource potential. Kesse presents a good treatise on specific mineral and rock resources available in Ghana; Wright relates the geology of Ghana to the regional geology of West Africa, and Leube et al. present a significantly different stratigraphic interpretation for the Birimian System in Ghana, stressing lateral lithologic continuity and facies changes within the group. Unlike many previous workers, Leube et al. believe that some of the granitoids possess significant potential for gold mineralisation.
Geologically, Ghana can be divided into several distinct terranes (see Figure 5.1 and Map 15). i) An early Proterozoic terrane (Birimian System) which hosts most of the country's mineral deposits and occupies the western and northernmost part of the country; ii) The Tarkwaian System, a distinctive sequence of clastic sediments within the Ashanti, Bui, and Bole-Navrongo Belts;
______________________________________________________________________________ Figure 5.1. Generalized Geologic Map of Ghana ______________________________________________________________________________
The Voltaian Basin, in which are preserved the late Precambrian to Paleozoic sediments that mantle the craton;
The Dahomeyan System, occupying the easternmost part of Ghana; A pan-African mobile belt, the Togo and Buem Formations, separated from the Birimian terrane by a prominent topographic feature known as the Akwapim Togo range;
Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks; and Intrusive rocks.
Rocks of the Birimian System underlie most of southern, western and northern Ghana. They host most of the gold and diamond deposits in the country, hence they have been subjected to considerable study. Ideas on the stratigraphy, structure and age of the Birimian rocks have evolved over the years as a result of work by the Geological Survey Department (GSD), the Soviet Geological Team and the Ghana-German Mineral Prospecting Project (GGMPP) in Ghana and the work of French geologists in Francophone West Africa. Kesse (1985) gives an overview of the ideas about the Birimian up through the early 1980's. The Birimian consists of metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks which form five subparallel belts of volcanic rock separated by broad “basins” of sedimentary rocks. Up to the early 1980's, except for Matthews and Milnes (1979) and Breakey and Breakey (1977), authors on the Birimian adopted a chronostratigraphic nomenclature. They divided the rocks into an older “Lower Birimian”, consisting of predominantly metasedimentary rocks, and a younger “Upper -55-
Mn-rich horizons also occur at stratigraphically lower level in the Upper Birimian and have been found in the uppermost Lower Birimian as well. Pillow structures indicating subaqueous eruption of the original basaltic lavas are commonly observed. In 1964-66.1 and 5. In the late 1970's the GSD developed an accepted stratigraphic nomenclature for the Birimian (Kesse. The felsic units include dacitic pyroclastic rocks. particularly towards the boundary with the Upper Birimian. The GSD developed a classification which incorporated and modified the SGT classification (Asihene and Barning 1975).2). comprising chiefly metavolcanic rocks (Junner 1935. felsic volcanic rocks also occur in this succession as well as in the predominantly sedimentary sections. 1955). The Upper Birimian volcanic succession consists of lava flows and dyke rocks of basaltic and andesitic composition. The rock types present in the Lower Birimian sedimentary belt are greywackes with turbidite features. Minor intrusions of mafic and ultramafic rocks cut the volcanics in some places. -56- . The SGT classified the Birimian into three sub series: Lower (sediments). minor andesitic and rhyolite flows. Available major and trace element chemical data show that these Birimian metabasalts are tholeiitic. Silicification is common in the phyllites. Middle (pyroclastics) and Upper (lavas). phyllites. 1940. 1985). schists. Bates. and finely divided carbonaceous matter is present in most of them. weakly metamorphosed tuffs and sandstones. Most of these rocks have now been metamorphosed to hornblende actinolite-schists. These ideas were based largely on mapping by the GSD in southern Ghana and are widely supported in Ghana (Tables 5. and undifferentiated volcanogenic sediments. the Soviet Geological Team (SGT) mapped the Bole and Lawra Belts.Birimian”. Some of the phyllites contain pyrite. calcareous chlorite schists and amphibolites (the greenstones). slates. However.
Predominantly black. meta-greywacke and minor thin beds of meta-siltstone. Meta-greywacke. Lithic assemblage of meta-greywacke. Upper Argillaceous subseries Middle Arenaceous subseries Lower Argillaceous subseries Lower Arenaceous subseries Source: Kesse.TABLE 5. massive meta-sandstones. grey and dark grey phyllite interbedded with greenish grey and buff-coloured tuffaceous phyllite. meta-sandstone.1 THE PRESENT ACCEPTED VERSION OF THE DIVISIONS OF THE LOWER BIRIMIAN SERIES BY GHANAIAN GEOLOGISTS Subseries Upper Arenaceous subseries Composite Lithology Yellowish brown to buff and in some places purple.phyllite assemblage which is characteristically rhythmically bedded in the lower parts and is also typically tuffaceous and manganiferous in the middle parts. Predominantly yellowish brown to ochre coloured assemblage of phyllitic siltstone and their tuffaceous equivalents. 1985 -57- . phyllite and tuffaceous varieties of these rock types. meta-siltstone . meta-siltstone.
and stratigraphy. notably in the Southwest Mapping Project.2 THE PRESENT ACCEPTED VERSION OF THE DIVISIONS OF THE UPPER BIRIMIAN SERIES BY GHANAIAN GEOLOGISTS Subseries Basic Volcanic subseries Composite lithology Makes up the bulk of the Upper Birimian and is further divided into normal greenstones (metabasalt and metadolerite). The results -58- . From 1983 to 1994 the GSD and the [German] Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) engaged in a co-operative project which focused on gold in Ghana (GGMPP). plus a variety of topical studies on structural geology. 1985 As GSD work proceeded. Geologists in Francophone countries developed a stratigraphic classification of the Birimian which included the same lithologies but had the reverse stratigraphic order. and Matthews and Milnes (1979) concluded that for the area in which they were working. as well as radiometric dating. new ideas began to evolve. geochemistry. Meta-tuffaceous greywacke. Breakey and Breakey. and quartz-chlorite schists. felsites. amphibolite intrusions.TABLE 5. Acid Volcanic subseries Sedimentary-volcanic subseries Source: Kesse. and greenschists and actinolite-chlorite-greenschists. The GGMPP included remapping of parts of western Ghana. and grit. including the suggestion that sediments and volcanics of the Birimian might be laterally equivalent. (1977) introduced a lithofacies approach for the sediments of their map area. it was the focus of considerable work. quartz-feldspar porphyry. quartzites and schistose conglomerate. Instead of a chronostratigraphic approach. As the Birimian hosts most of the gold mineralisation. the metasediments are either younger than or coeval with the metavolcanics. These ideas are summarised by Kesse (1985). Meta-rhyolites.
1994). The summary which follows presents a description of the Birimian which incorporates the above ideas (Table 5. The total thickness of the lava sequences is unknown owing to folding. et al. The work has challenged many long held ideas on Ghanaian geology. (1990). dacite and rhyolite in the volcanic sections. Taylor. (1990) concluded that the sediments and volcanics represented lateral facies equivalents. The Birimian volcanic rocks consist mainly of tholeiitic basalts of oceanic affinity. 1992.. but in place.. volcaniclastics and argillites. The volcanic belts are typically 15 to 40 km wide and spaced 60 to 90 km apart. This was supported by the interbedding of the two units. 1994. their similar depositional environment and similar geochemistry. Pillow structures indicate that the lavas were deposited in a submarine environment. et al. Leube et al. The geochemistry of the lavas is summarised by Leube et al. In western Ghana. turbidites. The contact between the sediments and volcanics is poorly exposed. There are lesser amounts of andesite. The Birimian terrane of Ghana is part of the West African Craton. et al. and papers in Oberthur. Mn-rich siliceous chemical sediments are common near the volcanic-sediment transition. 1992. Eisenlohr and Hirdes. the stratigraphic relationship of the two groups of Birimian rocks has been interpreted differently over the years. 1992.3). interlayering has been reported.have been published in series of papers from 1986 to the present. the proportion of argillite increases towards the centre of the basins. In general. -59- . and some ideas are still not fully accepted in the Ghanaian geologic community. et al. 1993. the Birimian consists of five northeast to north trending belts of volcanic rocks separated by broader belts (basins) of sedimentary rocks. (Leube. 1990. As noted above. Hirdes. The Birimian sediments comprise greywacke. Davis.
It is therefore not easy to establish stratigraphic succession and estimate thickness. 1992) brackets Birimian deposition between 2. These dates thus support the earliest GSD interpretation of the relative ages of the two lithologic groups.000 m. -60- .000 to 15. i. they are also commonly sheared and fractured. et al. Dating of zircons in Birimian metasediments (Davis et al.166± 66 Ma (Taylor. Metamorphism in the Birimian is “low-grade” greenschist facies except near intrusive contacts where amphibolite assemblages occur in the metasediments.185 Ma. However the total thickness of the Birimian in Ghana may be 10.Radiometric dates of lavas from four of the volcanic belts give a Sm-Nd isochron age of 2.135 and 2. The Birimian rocks are generally tightly and isoclinally folded. Faulting tends to follow the trend of the folds. 1994) and dating of granitoid intruding sediments in the Kumasi basin (Hirdes et al. The rocks have dips generally greater than 60°. 1992). some 35 Ma younger than the lavas. with the main episode of volcanism in the period 2.116 Ma..e.155-2.
Water/air interface volcanic islands or volcanic ridges Turbidites at lower end of slopes of volcanic ridges Depository proximal to volcanic island or ridges Argillite-volcaniclastic Br21. commonly finely laminated and graphitic Rich in cherts. Br51 partly Br31. notably quartz enriched volcaniclastic rocks displaying graded bedding Interbedding of volcaniclastic (predominantly sand-to-silt-size nonor little transported pyroclastics and argillitic rock with the former dominant in thickness and proportional abundance. Rare inlayers of lava) As above. the Br2b1 of Trashliev (1992) could be placed in this category.TABLE 5. but a preponderance in thickness and proportional abundance of argillites Argillites. Br11 of Trashliev (1992) partly Br31. volcaniclastic rocks (pyroclastics or epiclastics) may be locally predominant. carbon.e. Rare argillaceous sediments Reworked. Br41 Br21. Br41 Low energy environments in the most distal. manganese. sulphides. central) portions of the basins In transitional zones between belts and basins More distal portions of the depositional basin argillite Chemical Source: Leube et al. 1975) Br2 (Upper Birimian). (i. 1990 -61- . some Br51 Depositional environment Volcanicvolcaniclastic Wacke (turbidite related) Volcaniclastic argillite Presence of lava essential. carbonates. allochthonous.3 FACIES OF THE BIRIMIAN SYSTEM AND THEIR CHARACTERISTIC LITHOLOGIC ASSOCIATIONS Facies Lithology Series or subseries of the old classification to which facies generally corresponds (see Asihene and Barning.
Kesse (1985) and Leube and Hirdes (1986) summarised the literature on the Tarkwaian up through the mid-1980's. The Banket Series in the Ashanti Belt has been the subject of a number of sedimentological studies owing to its association with gold mineralisation. in all of the other belts. The rocks of the Tarkwaian System represent erosional products of the Birimian and are dominated by coarse clastic sediments. breccia and conglomerate composed in part of well sorted quartz pebble conglomerate beds known as “reefs” that host the gold mineralisation. quartzite. 1973. clean. (1992). to a lesser extent. 1991. 1994) and that the Tarkwaian sediments were derived largely from the -62- . They are widespread in the Ashanti and Bui volcanic belts and. In the Ashanti Belt. (1993 a. sandstone and quartzite with interbeds of phyllite (Table 5. the Kawere Group. and Oberthur (1994) for the Ashanti Belt and by Zitzman et al. the Tarkwa is made up of four units. The uppermost Tarkwa unit is the Huni Sandstone. The lowest unit. b) for the Bui Belt. The Banket is overlain by the Tarkwa Phyllite which consists of a transition sequence from sandstone to chloritic and sericitic phyllite. These studies indicate that the source area for the Banket has to be to the southeast of the present outcrop (Sestini.4). matrix supported. grit. and is in marked contrast with.3 THE TARKWAIAN A distinctive sequence of clastic sedimentary rocks occurs in elongate troughs developed on top of the Birimian System. Most workers agree that the Tarkwaian sediments were deposited in intermontane grabens formed by preferential rifting along the axes of the volcanic belts and that there is no evidence that the depositional basins were ever linked. Hirdes and Nunoo. the Banket Series which consists of mature. large pebble conglomerate dominated by mafic (Birimian) pebble lithologies.5. polymictic. More recent data is presented in Eisenlohr and Hirdes. These rocks host important paleoplacer gold deposits and are known as the Tarkwa System. Strogen. consists of immature. The Kawere is overlain by.
096 Ma (Hirdes and Nunoo. Junner et al. northeast plunging antiforms and synforms. 1992).. (1994). The overall thickness of the series ranges from 120 to 600 m. et al.Middle Reef .. the Tarkwaian is overturned and locally overthrust by Birimian rocks (Eisenlohr and Hirdes. Tarkwaian rocks are folded into a regional syncline with a steep northeast trending normal fault parallel to the fold axis.. Along the northwest margin of the belt the Tarkwaian rocks are strongly tectonised and overturned.132 ± 3 Ma to 2. as shown by the similarity of detrital zircon populations in Tarkwaian and Birimian sediments (Davis. the Tarkwa System is folded into a series of northeast trending.Basal or Main Reef and Sub-basal Reef. The Tarkwaian in the Kibi-Winneba Belt has been less well studied but appears also to be a northeast trending overturned syncline. Davis et al. 1994). The sediments have a moderate primary foliation (S1) and a strong secondary foliation (S2) near the margins of the belt. The structure of the Tarkwaian rocks differs from belt to belt. Along the northwest margin of the belt. (1994) dated zircons from the Kawere conglomerate and several of the reef horizons in the Banket Series.erosion of Birimian rocks. The Basal or Main Reef is the most persistent conglomerate bed in the Tarkwa goldfield area and is by far the richest in gold. They also dated an authigenic rutile from the main reef of the Banket Series using U-Pb methods. An additional upper time limit on the age of the Tarkwa is the age of the granitoid from the Cape Coast area. Granitoid pebbles of this type are not found in -63- . In the Ashanti Belt. These dates give a time range of 2. The age of deposition of the Tarkwa group can be bracketed by the youngest zircon grain from the lowermost Kawere series and age of the authigenic rutile which formed after deposition. 1994). (1942) named four “reefs” or conglomerate bands in the following succession: Breccia Reef .. (1994) and Hirdes and Nunoo. The series includes quartz-pebble conglomerates. In the Bui Belt. The age of the Tarkwa System has been the subject of recent study by Davis et al.
The sandstone is the weathered representation of -64- . TARKWA GOLDFIELD.. 1994). Sandstones. quartzite and phyllite. the uppermost Tarkwaian unit. greywacke and manganiferous phyllite. Quartzites. gabbro. a middle reef and an upper breccia reef. (1942) The Tarkwa Phyllite ranges in thickness between 120 and 400 m. TABLE 5. Intrusive Contact Tarkwaian Huni Sandstone Tarkwa Phyllite Banket Series Kawere Group Great Unconformity Birimian Upper Birimian Source: Junner et al. thus the granite intruded after the deposition of the Tarkwa System.the Tarkwaian. Also intruded by epidiorites in places. pyroclastics. phyllite.4 GENERALIZED GEOLOGICAL COLUMN. norite. grits. Phyllite and chloritoid-bearing phyllite with subsidiary arenaceous beds. grits. porphyry and diabase. grit. etc. Volcanics (greenstones). main or basal reef. et al. indicative of shallow water conditions. breccias and conglomerates. breccias and banket conglomerates. The phyllites without chloritoid range from sandy to fine-grained lustrous types and in some cases contain abundant hematite or magnetite. GHANA System Group. Four reefs are recognized: a sub-basal reef. This granitoid complex gives a U-Pb date of 2. Post Tarkwaian Intrusives Lithology Epidorite. The Huni Sandstone. contains cross bedding and channel scours.090 ± 1 Ma (Davis. The phyllites are divisible into those with and those without chloritoid. intruded by and granitised in places to granites and porphyries. quartzites. Sandstone. amphibolite.
Middle and Upper units. magnetite and. The Tarkwaian sediments are generally weakly metamorphosed. Jones (1978) and Anan-Yorke. Junner and Hirst (1946) subdivided the Voltaian sediments on the base of lithology and field relationships into Lower. They contain variable amount of feldspar. The Upper Voltaian. (1980) (Table 5. Many other authors have also discussed the age and stratigraphy of the Voltaian. ferruginous carbonate.5). The Obosum beds are molasse deposits formed by the erosion of the Togo Series following its uplift in the Pan African event. such as the Soviet Geological Team (1964). is thickest and coarsest in the southeast. The Lower Voltaian sediments represent a marine transgression-regression cycle on the craton. -65- . sericite. the flat lying Voltaian strata overlie the Birimian rocks with a marked angular unconformity. chlorite. 5. The conglomerates contain pebbles of granite and other igneous rocks. mudstones and conglomerates thought to be of Late Precambrian to Paleozoic age.600 km2. the adjacent Togo Belt crops out. In the Eastern part of the basin. epidote. otherwise known as the Obosum Formation. in weathered outcrops.4 THE VOLTAIAN Almost one third of Ghana is covered by sediments of the inland Voltaian Basin which covers an area of about 103. whereas the Middle Voltaian records a glacial event followed by prolonged marine incursion and subsidence of the basin. Sedimentary structures show the direction of transport to have been from the southeast.feldspathic quartzites which are in general finer grained than the Banket Series quartzites. shales. In most places. as well as quartzite fragments. The Voltaian strata are nearly horizontal beds of sandstones.
the maximum depth being almost 6 km. Anan-Yorke. Based on the magnetic data. (1946) Afram shale Akroso conglomerate Lower green beds Basal sandstone Green-gray lower series Oti beds The structure of the Voltaian Basin has been discussed by Ako and Wellman (1985). Ako and Wellman (1985) interpreted the basin as a foreland basin developed by flexure due to obduction of lower crust from the east and southeast during the Pan-African Orogeny.TABLE 5. Jones (1990) believed that the gravity highs in the basin are due to mafic subvolcanic intrusives below -66- . based on their reviews of gravity and magnetic data for the basin. with west and northeast trending structures. According to them. (1980). (1985) and Junner and Hirst.5 VOLTAIAN BASIN STRATIGRAPHY Anan-Yorke (1980) Upper Voltaian Lower Carboniferous (450-320 Ma) Middle Voltaian. the basin overlies magnetic rocks. Kesse. the basin deepens to the southeast. Lower Ordovician Lower Vendian (480-675 Ma) Massive sandstone Thin bedded sandstone & Tamale red beds Upper green beds SGT (1964) Massive cross bedded sandstone Thin bedded sandstone Tamale red beds Junner& Hirst (1946) Upper sandstone Thin bedded sandstone Obosum beds Lower Voltaian Basal sandstone Basal sandstone Upper to Middle Riphean (700-1000 Ma) Angular unconformity Birimian Source: Compiled from Jones (1978). probably Birimian. The depth of the basin and dip of the strata suggests that the basin formed by lithospheric flexure.
Fitches (1970). -67- . hornblende. All of the gneisses have undergone at least two stages of penetrative deformation. The granite gneisses interlayer with the mafic gneiss and are believed to be metamorphosed volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks. salite and garnet gneisses of igneous parentage and generally tholeiitic composition (Holm. (1964). A distinctive. 1974). Structurally.the Voltaian which were the feeders for the Buem Volcanics. 1978). The Dahomeyan is the easternmost rock group in Ghana and differs significantly from other rocks in Ghana in that it is composed of high grade metamorphic rocks. it underlies eastern and southeastern Ghana. however. 5. The latest deformation is believed to be of Pan-African age (500-600 Ma) and is referred to as a “reactivation” of Birimian crust by Kennedy. Persistent bands of nepheline gneiss in the system appear to be metamorphosed calc-alkaline igneous rocks (Holm. a calcareous rock which has been interpreted to be a carbonatite (Mani.5 THE DAHOMEYAN The Dahomeyan System is a part of the second major tectono-stratigraphic terrane in Ghana. The mafic gneisses are relatively uniform oligoclase. 1977. but normal. 1974). the granite gneiss is the lowest unit in the system. lithology in the Dahomeyan is the “Kpong Conglomerate”. 1978). Anan-Yorke. andesine. This conclusion is supported by the presence of abundant volcanic rocks in the lower sandstones cut by the Premuase well (Watt. The system consists of four lithologic belts of granitic and mafic gneiss. suggests that the metamorphism may be Eburnian (Proterozoic) in age.
et al. This conclusion is supported by Grant (1969) and Affaton. (1980). Blay (1991) postulates that the Dahomeyan are Birimian rocks. which encloses the -68- . Togo Series The rocks which comprise the north to northeast trending Togo Range consist of strongly tectonised phyllite. Serpentinites occur along the western contact and appear to be emplaced along thrust faults (Grant. 5. quartzite and serpentinite. The sedimentary assemblage.6 THE TOGO BELT The second major lithologic group which makes up the eastern Ghana terrane is the Togo Belt comprising the Buem and Togo Series. 1969). hawaiite and trachyte. agglomerate. 1985. The volcanic assemblage is made up of pillow basalt. Jones. The original age of the Dahomeyan protolith is unknown. 1991). This group of rocks comprises three distinctive lithologic assemblages. Rb-Sr and K-Ar dates by Agyei. volcanic and sedimentary. The unit grades from east to west from phyllite and chlorite schist upwards into quartzite. Buem Series West of the Togo Range is a belt of volcanic and sedimentary rocks known as the Buem Series (Kesse. The contacts between the Togo and Dahomeyan to the east and the Buem to the west are thrust faults. 1985) or the Togo Tectonic Unit (Blay. These rocks are variously known as the Togo Series (Kesse.The gross structure of the Dahomeyan is that of alternating northeast trending lithologic belts with moderate dips to the southeast. et al. micaceous quartzite and sandstone. (1987) show Pan African ages for the last metamorphism. 1990) or the Buem Tectonic Unit (Blay. The Buem consists of two lithologic assemblages. 1991). Along the western boundary of the belt the gneisses are in fault contact and overthrust onto rocks of the Buem-Togo Belt.
shales.7 PHANEROZOIC SEDIMENTARY ROCKS Relatively minor outcrops of sedimentary rocks along the coast from Keta and Accra in the east to Half Assini in the west constitute remnants of rocks of the Phanerozoic coastal basins. consists of red shales. Accraian. Lashmanov's mapping supports Blay (1991) in concluding that the Buem is younger than the Togo. gives an Upper Precambrian age of 620 Ma (Bozhko. Whereas the volcanics were deposited in a submarine environment. et al. a conclusion reached earlier by Grant (1969). Sekondian and Tano basins. 5. these rocks occur in the Keta. claystone and fossiliferous limestone beds (Kesse. which overlie the Oti Beds. Lashmanov's sandy mudstone unit is laterally equivalent to the “Oti Beds” in the Voltaian Basin. 1985). Blay (1991) cites the presence of a basal conglomerate at the BuemTogo contact as an indication that the Buem is younger than the Togo unit. Jones (1990) describes the Buem as an eastward dipping homoclinal sequence. From east to west. Sandy mudstone unit Lashmanov (1991) mapped the northern part of the Dahomeyan belt and noted the presence of a sandy mudstone unit between the Buem and the Togo. siltstone. The age of the Dahomeyan rocks is problematic. whereas Kesse (1985) states that the rocks are strongly folded. (1984) give K-Ar ages of 528 to 492 Ma for samples of the Buem volcanics. the sediments appear to be shallow water to subaerial in origin (Jones. Radiometric dating of glauconite in the Middle Voltaian Obosum Beds. feldspathic to quartz arenite. The Accraian is considered midDevonian in age and consists predominantly of sandstones and shales. Cahen et al.. 1990). This would indicate an Upper Proterozoic age for the Togo and a Proterozoic to Lower Cambrian age for the Buem. tillite. conglomerate. Rocks of the Keta basin are of Cretaceous age and consist of sandstones. The Sekondian strata are -69- .volcanics. jasper and minor limestone. Jones (1990) concludes that these dates represent a metasomatic event. 1971).
The Tano basin is located in the extreme southwestern corner of Ghana. later work by Hirdes et al. early workers assumed that the Cape Coast granitoids intruded during regional deformation and that Dixcove granites were emplaced after deformation. The Cape Coast and Dixcove type granitoids are widespread in Ghana.1992). Some of them are two mica granites. in contrast to long held -70- . silts and beds of chalcedony. It has been suggested that the Cape Coast granitoids. 1990. However.1 BIRIMIAN GRANITOIDS AND ASSOCIATED INTRUSIVES Four main types of granitoids are recognised in the Birimian of Ghana. Mauer. shales and sands which have a large off-shore extension.made up of sandstones. The features of these granitoids are listed in Table 5.. 1985). Cape Coast type Granitoids (G1) The Cape Coast granites occur only within the Birimian sedimentary basins. rafts of metasediments and relict structures from metasediments rise into the granitoids. Kesse. 1940. sands and pebbly beds and range in age from Devonian to Cretaceous. Cape Coast. (Junner. Dixcove and Bongo granitoids (Junner 1940. 5. They include Winneba. and these are especially well developed in the metasedimentary belts. Hirdes et al.. It is made up of Cretaceous-Tertiary sediments consisting of limestones. 1990. which appear migmatitic in some localities. They are typically biotite-bearing.8 INTRUSIVE ROCKS 5. there is no geochronologic support for this theory. 1993). Based on the degree of foliation.. shales. 1985). and the Bongo type crops out in the BoleNavrongo Belt and in the Banso area. (1992) demonstrated. and tendrils of granite vein the metasediments (Taylor et al. “Belt” and “K-rich” granitoids.6. The latter three have been recently termed “Basin”. However. (Leube et al. Kesse. Contacts between these granitoids and the metasediments are irregular. might represent an older continental basement on which the Birimian supracrustals were deposited.8. This group also includes gneisses. the Winneba type is limited to small areas near Winneba.
. They are typically hornblende-bearing and are commonly associated with gold mineralisation where they occur as small plutons within the volcanic belts. The granitoids are massive in outcrop. sheared granitoids were observed in the Sefwi Belt.views. 1992) suggest that the Cape Coast and Dixcove granitoids are coeval. amphibole bearing granitoids have been demonstrated to be less likely to develop a foliation during deformation than biotite-rich granitoids (Vernon and Flood. 1989). -71- . However. and these may have been deformed during regional deformation (Eisenlohr and Hirdes. do not have a compositional banding or foliation. that Dixcove granitoids formed at about 2. and some workers (Murray. Dixcove-type granitoids have never been shown to intrude or crosscut Cape Coast granitoids. 1946). In particular.g. but the data contradict the established view that the granitoids intruded after deformation. Such features are typical of granitoids that have undergone metamorphism (Vernon and Flood 1988). Taylor et al. Hirst.175 Ma and are about 60 and 90 Ma older than the Cape Coast granitoids. Dixcove granitoids have a porphyritic texture defined by plagioclase set in a quartz-hornblende-actinolite matrix.. The above features do not necessarily prove pre-deformation Dixcove granitoid emplacement. The plagioclase is always saussuritised or sericitised and actinolite appears to crosscut the fabric. 1992). 1988). Locally. and there appears to be a gradational boundary between finer and coarser grained Dixcove granitoids and basalts (e. Dixcove type Granitoids (G2) Dixcove-type granitoids are metaluminous and typically dioritic to granodioritic in composition. They intrude Birimian volcanic rocks. The presence or absence of a foliation is not a sufficient criterion to establish timing relationships in granitoids (Paterson et al. These observations indicate a close association between Birimian basalts and Dixcove granitoids and suggest they may be part of the same igneous event. The granitoids commonly contain basalt xenoliths. and are thus generally considered post-deformation. (1988. 1960) have recognised Dixcove granitoid clasts in Cape Coast granitoids.
.. but recent mapping indicates that the granite crosscuts the tectonised Birimian/Tarkwaian boundary. It is the only rock suite so far encountered in Ghana which shows evidence for an Archean sialic precursor (Sm/Nd model age of about 2.968 ± 49 Ma (Lenz in Hirdes et al. 1992).6 Ga (Taylor et al. this granitoid was thought to be unconformably overlain by Tarkwaian rocks (Woodfield. 1966). This granitoid is peraluminous and lacks a foliation (Leube et al. the Banso granitoid. crops out within the Ashanti Belt south of Kumasi. -72- ..Winneba Granitoid The Winneba granitoid occurs at a single locality near the town of Winneba. The latter observations plus petrographic and geochemical similarities described by Mauer (1986) suggest that the Banso granitoid intrudes the Tarkwaian and thus occupies a similar tectonic position to that of the Bongo type granitoid. 1992). 1986). 1990). Contact metamorphic minerals have been observed in Tarkwaian rocks close to the granitoid (Mauer. Bongo-type Granitoid The type locality for this granitoid is located in northern Ghana where the granites intrude Tarkwaian sediments that overlie the Bole-Navrongo Volcanic Belt. A granitoid similar in composition to the Bongo type. Formerly. The granitoid’s Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron age is 1. 1988.
compositional banding ubiquitous and pronounced Unfoliated Mafic Minerals Hornblende dominant Aluminous character Metaluminous Basin (Cape Coast) K-Rich (Bongo) Extensive contact metamorphic aureoles Thin contact metamorphic zone Biotite dominant Peraluminous Hornblende.6 CHARACTERISTICS OF GRANITOID ROCKS IN GHANA Name Belt (Dixcove) Size/Geologic setting Small to medium sized plutons restricted to Birimian volcanic belts Large batholiths restricted to Birimian sedimentary basins Intrudes Tarkwaian in Navrongo Belt. biotite at Banso Metaluminous Winneba Not Determined Foliation common Biotite Peraluminous -73- . No compositional banding Foliated. Banso area in Ashanti Belt Single known locale within basin sediments in the Winneba-Kibi Belt Contact Aureole Contact aureoles of a few tens of metres maximum Foliation Seldom foliated (except for local intense shearing).TABLE 5.
172±110 Source: Leube and Hirdes (1986). CaObasin Alteration Pronounced retrograde alteration Association Similar geochemical characteristics as tholeiitic basalts in belts for some elements No evidence for geochemical similarity to tholeiitic basalts in belts Post tectonic Age (Ma) 2.TABLE 5. (1988.6 (CONTINUED) Composition (Typical) Belt (Dixcove) Typically dioritic to granodioritic Composition Range True granite to diorite Geochemistry Na2O. -74- . K2Obelt Little alteration 2.170-2. K2Obasin > Rb. CaObelt > Na2O. 1992).083-2. Eisenlohr and Hirdes (1992). (1992).118 K-Rich (Bongo) Granite Granite to granodiorite Granite to granodiorite High K (>4% K2O). Hirdes et al. Kesse.024±159 Pb-Pb 2. et al. Sr>>Belt and Basin Similar to Basin K2O> Belt and Basin K2O <Bongo Little alteration Little alteration 1. (1985).181 Basin (Cape Coast) Typically granodioritic True granite to tonalite Rb.968±49 Winneba Granodiorite Sm-Nd evidence of Archean sialic precursor Rb-Sr 2. Taylor.
epidiorite and norite. -75- .3 CARBONATITE An unusual rock interpreted to be a carbonatite occurs at Kpong on the Volta River (Mani. The rounded plagioclase clasts gave K-Ar and Rb-Sr dates of 665 ± 20 and 975 ± 167 Ma respectively.4 MAFIC DIKES AND SILLS These represent the youngest volcanic rocks in Ghana. These are too old for the geologic setting of the Kpong conglomerate.8.5 km long and 100 m thick and deep to southeast in the Anum area (Jones. Biotite from the groundmass gave K-Ar and Rb-Sr dates of 545±11 and 572±15 Ma.. They cut both the Birimian and Tarkwaian rocks. dolerite. The rock is composed of rounded 1 cm diameter plagioclase clasts set in a matrix of carbonate and biotite. They are mainly gabbro. They interpret the age data as indicating that the carbonatite was emplaced late in the Pan-African orogeny.2 SERPENTINITES Ultramafic bodies are associated with major faults. Grant (1969) interprets them as alpine serpentinite emplaced at the base of the Togo Series..5. respectively. Agyei et al. (1987) concluded that this may be a more meaningful age for the carbonatite. 1972. The largest is a lensoid body 2. Bondesen. (1987) dated samples of this rock by both Rb-Sr and K-Ar methods. 1978.8. 1972). 1987). The dolerites are not metamorphosed and commonly have intruded parallel to bedding..8. They are porphyritic containing plagioclase phenocrysts in a carbonatised groundmass. and the plagioclase clasts must be lower crust or upper mantle xenocrysts (Agyei et al. 5. 1990). Agyei et al. Akiti et al. 5. These bodies were probably emplaced during thrusting at around 500 Ma.
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