The Merensky Cyclic Unit, Bushveld Complex, South Africa: Reality or Myth?
AbstractThe Merensky Unit, Bushveld Complex, is commonly described using genetic terms such as “cyclic unit”, typically without careful consideration of the connotations. We suggest that this contributes to the debate on processes forming the unit. This study integrates an extensive field study with detailed petrographic and textural analyses of the Merensky Unit to determine whether it is a “cyclic unit” sensu stricto. The study indicates that the bulk of the platinum-bearing chromitite-feldspathic orthopyroxenite developed through heterogeneous nucleation and in situ growth during multiple replenishment events. The overlying leuconorite developed above a gradational boundary, reflecting mixing following replenishment by a relatively more evolved magma. The bulk of this unit also formed in situ. The uppermost poikilitic anorthosite formed above a distinct boundary through a subsequent injection of a plagioclase-saturated magma, which crystallised in situ. Processes of gravitational settling and local remobilisation of crystals cannot be discounted from contributing to the development of the unit. The final textures throughout the unit developed through pervasive textural equilibration, with extensive fluid-mediated textural equilibration forming the megacrystic feldspathic orthopyroxenite. The evidence for at least five replenishment events indicates that the Merensky Unit is not a cyclic unit; therefore, the genetic term, “Merensky Cyclic Unit”, is misleading and its use should be carefully considered in future work. View Full-Text
- Supplementary File 1:
Supplementary (ZIP, 17487 KB)
Share & Cite This Article
Hunt, E.J.; Latypov, R.; Horváth, P. The Merensky Cyclic Unit, Bushveld Complex, South Africa: Reality or Myth? Minerals 2018, 8, 144.
Hunt EJ, Latypov R, Horváth P. The Merensky Cyclic Unit, Bushveld Complex, South Africa: Reality or Myth? Minerals. 2018; 8(4):144.Chicago/Turabian Style
Hunt, Emma J.; Latypov, Rais; Horváth, Péter. 2018. "The Merensky Cyclic Unit, Bushveld Complex, South Africa: Reality or Myth?" Minerals 8, no. 4: 144.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.