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Geology (Taken from Geological Atlas of Africa)

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Geology can be described as the complex structure of rock formations, which occur in specific locations and sequences. Geology has a major influence on most other features of the landscape such as land form, soil, topography and vegetation. Large parts of the country are underlain by Precambrian rocks, including the Barberton and Murchison Belts, the Limpopo mobile belt and the Witwatersrand Supergroup, all of which are of Archean age. For the Transvaal Supergroup, the Bushveld Complex, the Vredefort Dome (an ancient meteorite impact structure) and the Waterberg (Mokolian) Supergroup a Paleoproterozoic age has been assigned. The Namaqualand Metamorphic Province is of Mesoproterozoic age. The lower Paleozoic is characterized by sediments and granites that were folded into the Cape Fold Belt. Approximately two thirds of South Africa's surface is covered by rocks of the Paleozoic to Mesozoic Karoo Supergroup, comprising mainly continental clastic sediments and volcanics. Several alkaline complexes, carbonatites and kimberlites, have intruded the Precambrian and Karoo strata. Cenozoic terrestrial and fresh water sediments, mainly sands of the Kalahari Group, cover large parts of northwestern South Africa along the borders with Botswana and Namibia.

This section of the dictionary is divided as follows:

1.        Pre-Karoo

      1.1 Natal Group

      1.2 Cape Supergroup

      1.3 Malmesbury Supergroup and Cape Granite Suite

      1.4 Namaqa-Natal Belt

      1.5 Waterberg Supergroup

      1.6 Bushveld Igeneous Complex

      1.7 Transvaal Supergroup

      1.8 Ventersdorp Supergroup

      1.9 Limpopo Belt

      1.10 Witwatersrand Supergroup

      1.11 Pietersburg Group

      1.12 Barberton Murchinson

2.        Karoo Supergroup

      2.1 Sedimentary Deposits

      2.2 Dolerite Intrusions

3.        Post-Karoo

      3.1 Drakensberg and Lebombo Group

      3.2 Tertiary Deposits

      3.3 Kimberlite Intrusions

4.        Minerals

5.        Rocks

Minerals and Rocks are summarised from Environmental Geology Practical Notes (GLG242) written by Michael Bester




geology legend

Source: Geological Atlas of Africa by Thomas Schlüter (2006)