Sedimentology and Paleocurrent Study of the Early Triassic Rocks in the Ruhuhu Basin, SW Tanzania
The sedimentary succession ranging in age from Permian to Early Triassic in Ruhuhu basin was subdivided into eight informal lithostratigraphic units, identified by the symbols from K1 to K8. Manda Formation (K8) belongs to Early Triassic age and comprises two Members, i.e., Lower Kingori Member and Upper Lifua Member (150-200 m thickness). The implications of present study relate to inter and intra basinal correlations which may provide regional depositional framework from a mass of local details. Present investigation connoting the lithofacies studies in conjunction with palaeocurrent and grain size analysis of the early Triassic strata aims at interpreting the depositional environment of Lifua Member. Based on the present study, five lithofacies have been identified, namely (i) Massive matrix supported paraconglomerate (Gmm), (ii) Massive sandstone (Sm), (iii) Parallel-horizontal laminated sandstone (Sh), (iv) Planar cross-bedded sandstone (Sp) and (v) Fine silt, mud and clay (Fl). Sandstone facies (Sm, Sh, and Sp) exhibit normal grading and unimodal palaeocurrent direction. Grain size analysis indicated that the sandstones were moderately sorted, finely skewed, mesokurtic and most of the grains were silty-sand. Bivariate scatter plots suggest that the Lifua Member sandstone is of riverine environment. Lithofacies, palaeocurrent and grain size studies suggest fluvial environment dominated by sand channel deposits.
Keywords: Lifua Member; Early Triassic; Lithofacies, Paleocurrent; Channel deposits; Ruhuhu basin
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