The Southern African Magnetotelluric Experiment (SAMTEX) is the largest ever land-based magnetotelluric (MT) project. The main objective of the project is to define the geo-electric structure across the region in order to gain a better understanding of Archean and Proterozoic tectonic processes. Only the MT profiles crossing the Rehoboth Terrane, the Neoproterozoic Ghanzi-Chobe/Damara belts (collectively termed the DMB) and the southern Angola craton are the focus of this study. One of the ways in which geo-electrical structural information is obtained is by detailed analysis of the measured impedance tensor. The Groom and Bailey decomposition technique was applied to the MT data and indicates significant depth and along-profile variations in geo-electric strike and dimensionality on all transects crossing these three tectonic units (i.e. Rehoboth Terrane, Angola craton and the DMB). The geo-electric strikes are generally parallel to the north-east trending tectonic fabric as inferred from the magnetic data, but the significant strike variations with depth are expressions of heterogeneity in the lithospheric structure. The Rehoboth terrane, south of the DMB, exhibits a strongly one dimensional (1D) to moderate two dimensional (2D) structure, with preferred strike directions in the range 200-450 20for the crust-mantle period (i.e. depth) range, indicating little crust-mantle decoupling. The DMB appears to be moderately 2D at lower crustal and upper mantle depths (10-100 s) with no consistent/preferred strike direction and significant phase differences between the conductive and resistive directions. North of the DMB and into the Angola craton there are significant variations in geo-electric strike direction and dimensionality at most sites for lower-crustal and upper mantle lithosphere. Our results further indicate that the profiles have to be divided into smaller areas having similar strike directions to allow for 2D modelling and inversion.


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