Lithostratigraphy, provenance and facies distribution of Archaean cratonic successions in western Kenya
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The greenstone belt of the Tanzanian shield in Western Kenya is composed of two supracrustal successions, which form the Nyanzian and Kavirondian Groups. The Nyanzian Group at the base is composed of mafic tholeiitic basalts, calc-alkaline dacites and rhyolites. The group is unconformably overlain by the Kavirondian Group. During recent field mapping, the Kavirondian Group was divided into three formations. The Shivakala Formation consists of thickly bedded basal conglomerates, which are interbedded with thin sandstone beds. The Igukhu Formation conformably overlies the Shivakala Formation and is composed of thickly and locally thinly bedded greywacke. The uppermost Mudaa Formation is composed of blocky mudstones and thinly laminated shales. A high proportion of volcanic, granitic and chert pebbles in the conglomerates, along with abundant quartz, feldspars and mudstone fragments in the greywacke, indicates a mixed provenance of volcanic, granitic and recycled sedimentary rocks. Primary sedimentary structures and lithofacies associations indicate that the conglomerates were deposited in an alluvial fan/fan-delta setting. The greywackes represent proximal turbidites while the mudstone and shales were deposited mainly as distal turbidites. In the study area there is no evidence of transitional nearshore or shallow marine facies transitional to the continental and deep marine facies.