Nickel laterite -View of Mvukwe Hill
Submitted by Andrew du Toit on Mon, 15/08/2016 - 10:55 | Last updated: Tue, 23/08/2016 - 13:18
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Mazowe – Mutorashanga Roadside
Great Dyke Erosion Surfaces
A road-side stop on the Mazowe – Mutorashanga road to view the topography of the Great Dyke from the east side in the vicinity of Mvukwe hill.
Note the following:
1. This stop is on the Miocene Post-African erosion surface, here a mature granitic plain and inselberg landscape on the east side of the Great Dyke.
2. To the west is Mvukwe hill (1752m) on the P5 and P6 Pyroxenites of the Pyroxenite Succession. This is the highest summit elevation of the entire Great Dyke and most probably formed a resistant massif overlooking the surrounding serpentinite and granite terrains during the formation of the Upper African erosion surface in the Early Cretaceous.
3. The Upper African Surface at a cliff-top elevation of ca. 1620m can be seen on serpentinites of the Dunite Succession to the north of Mvukwe hill. This erosion surface dies out to the south where the serpentinite outcrop narrows along the flanks as the central massif of gently, south-plunging pyroxenites broadens. From this point northwards to the central part of the Snake’s Head section (Musengezi Subchamber), the Great Dyke contains one of Africa’s largest expanses of exposed serpentinite (with potential for nickel laterite formation).
1) Zimbabwe Geological Survey Bulletin 90 - The Erosion Surfaces of Zimbabwe, L.A Lister 1987. 2) Landscape Evolution, Regolith Formation and Nickel Laterite Develoment in the Northern part of the Great Dyke, Zimbabwe, M.D. Prendergast. South African Journal of Geology, v. 116, i. 2, p. 219-240, December 2013