- © 2008, The Clay Minerals Society
The Neoproterozoic succession in the Outjo District of northern Namibia is a mainly sedimentary sequence that was deposited in the time-interval of approximately 800 to 600 Ma ago and was deformed and suffered mild greenschist facies regional metamorphism during Damaran times ca. 550 Ma ago. The map area occupies the lithofacies and tectonic transition from the highly deformed more eugeoclinal Swakop Group sequence to the south to the coeval, uniformly southward-dipping, miogeoclinal Otavi Group of the Fransfontein Ridge to the north. The oldest unit is a largely sandstone and biotite-muscovite phyllite succession tentatively equated with the volcanogenic Naauwpoort Formation (Nosib Group) that pre-dates the Swakop Group in the Summas Mountains to the southwest. The overlying Saturn Formation comprises two distinct but coeval lateral carbonate facies: a 300 m thick sequence of bedded dolomite with a 20 m thick median limestone; and massive biohermal dolomite of undetermined thickness. The conformably overlying Landeck Formation comprises a lower succession of interbedded sandstone, phyllite and local carbonate rocks, a distinctive middle iron formation marker horizon with rather rare overlying dolomite, followed by a siliciclastic-carbonate sequence. The combined succession is up to 450 m in thickness, and glacial diamictite is recorded at 30+ localities sited below, within and above the iron formation. However, in the more distal parts of the Landeck Formation in the Saturn Dome, glacial diamictictite has not been identified, the iron formation is overlain by a distinctive dolomite, and the uppermost 200 to 300 m of the Landeck Formation is characterized by four horizons of siliciclastic sediments with three intervening horizons of blue limestone that reflect the concordant transition to the overlying Bergfriede Formation. New chemical analyses are reported for graphitic dolomite, magnetite-calcite schist, iron formation, ferruginous limestone, dolomitic sandstone and biotite-muscovite phyllite of the Landeck Formation. The Bergfriede Formation consists almost entirely of limestone and dolomite and is characterized by major changes in facies and thickness, and five lateral facies end-members are recognized: I. Hankow Facies, a five-fold succession of limestone, dolomite and calcarenite up to 500 m thick; II. Tsuwandes-Zuwitsaub Facies, a three-fold sequence of limestone-dolomite-limestone >300 m thick; III. Uranus Facies, entirely dolomite generally 150 m thick; IV. Belina-Sophienhof Facies, a limestone-dolomite sequence, with a distinctive arenaceous limestone at the top, 100 to 400 m thick; and V. Mooilagte-Mooihoek Facies, largely dolomite-chert-limestone ≥1500 m thick, that is transitional to the dolomite-dominated upper Otavi Tsumeb Subgroup of the Fransfontein Ridge to the north. The overlying Okaua Formation is composed of a >3000 m thick sequence of muscovite-chlorite phyllite and calcareous sandstone that occupy, inter alia, the troughs of the regional Ugab and Uranus-Neuland Synclines; it is most likely correlative with the Mulden Group of the Otavi Mountainland. The Damaran regional structure of area is characterized by: D1 an early phase of southward-directed gravity nappes; D2 the regionally dominant northeast-southwest to east-west trending tight compressional upright or northward-verging folds, and local thrusts; and D3 late strike-slip faulting.