A suite of mafic dykes from the Underberg region of southern KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) were intruded at 178 Ma, coincident in age with the major Okavango Dyke Swarm of Botswana, and also coincident with minor Karoo-related intrusions of the northern and central Lebombo. The dykes are all low-Ti-Zr tholeiites, they trend NW-SE and are presumed to continue into the Karoo central area of the Lesotho Highlands. In many respects, the Underberg dykes are similar to the majority of the low-Ti-Zr volcanic and subvolcanic intrusions of the Karoo; however, their 87Sr/86Sr and Nd isotope ratios are either ‘Ferrar-like’ (87Sr/86Sr 0·710; Nd < -3) or transitional between Karoo low-Ti-Zr and Ferrar low-Ti magmas. A potential Ferrar source for at least some of the Underberg dykes is supported by anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility analyses of the dyke suite, which demonstrate absolute flow direction from the SE to the NW, consistent with Gondwana reconstructions. The role of crustal contamination and combined fractional crystallization is also demonstrated to have played a key role in the petrogenesis of the Underberg dykes, involving a local upper crust contaminant. However, the composition of the ‘Ferrar-like’ dykes cannot be easily explained by AFC processes, but they do demonstrate that melting of a lithospheric mantle source enriched to a small degree by subduction-derived fluid was also important.
Southampton have signed Lyon and Croatia defender Dejan Lovren on a four-year contract. Press Association The Saints announced the deal on their official Twitter feed. Lovren makes the hop across the English channel having spent three seasons with Lyon, winning the Coupe de France with last year. Having started out with Dinamo Zagreb he won the first of his 17 international caps during his four-year spell with them, although he did spend time out on loan with Inter Zapresic. “I’ve spoken a lot with the chairman and the coach, and this is a great project,” Lovren said on the club’s official website after completing his move for an undisclosed fee. “They told me a lot of positive things, and I know the history of the club. It’s a big club and I’m very happy that I can be a part of it.” Lovren, who was courted by a number of other European sides, admitted the lure of the Premier League had proved too strong. “After three and a half years in France, it was a dream to play in the Premier League. Now the dream has come true,” he said. “I have it in my mind to do something big, and I see the same thing in the club. “We are a young team, and I am a young player also so I hope I will stay here for a long time.”