Crustal Structure and Dynamics of Botswana

I.E.A.M. Fadel (Corresponding Author), M. van der Meijde, Hanneke Paulssen

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We present the first nationwide crustal thickness and Vp/Vs maps for Botswana based on the analysis of new P wave receiver functions of NARS‐Botswana network integrated with previous receiver function results in Botswana. Using H‐K analysis, we found crustal thickness values ranging from 34 km for the Okavango Rift Zone to 49 km at the border between the Magondi Belt and the Zimbabwe Craton. For stations with significant sediment cover, a sediment correction was applied based on sequential H‐K stacking. We observed distinct differences for the Kaapvaal craton. The eastern part has a high Vp/Vs ratio typical of a predominantly mafic composition, suggesting lateral extension of the Bushveld mafic complex. On the other hand, the western part with a Vp/Vs ratio of 1.67 is felsic, probably as a result of delamination caused by Proterozoic rifting processes. Further to the west of the Kaapvaal Craton, we found a crustal thickness of 42 km and a Vp/Vs ratio of 1.76 for the Nosop Basin. These values are similar to other cratonic regions in Botswana, suggesting the presence of a buried craton as proposed by previous studies. We confirm a relatively thin crust (∼34–39 km), compared to the rest of Botswana, and high Vp/Vs ratio (∼1.84) underneath the Okavango Rift Zone found by previous receiver function studies. Notably, we also found a relatively thin crust (37 km) and high Vp/Vs ratio (1.84) in central Botswana underneath the Passarge Basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10659-10671
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of geophysical research. Solid earth
Issue number12
Early online date13 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • receiver function
  • Botswana
  • Moho
  • Okavango rift zone
  • craton
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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