Neoproterozoic sequences of the West Congo and Lindi/Ubangi Supergroups in the Congo Craton, Central Africa
Published:January 01, 2011
Jenny Tait, Franck Delpomdor, Alain Préat, Luc Tack, Gijs Straathof, Valentin Kanda Nkula, 2011. "Neoproterozoic sequences of the West Congo and Lindi/Ubangi Supergroups in the Congo Craton, Central Africa", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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The focus of this chapter is the West Congo Supergroup in the West Congo Belt (WCB), which extends along the western margin of the Congo Craton from Gabon in the north to northern Angola in the south, and the Lindi/Ubangi Supergroup of the Lindian and Fouroumbala – Bakouma Basins exposed on the northern margin of the craton. In both regions, up to two distinct diamictite horizons have been recognized, the younger of which is often associated with carbonate rocks. Geochronological constraints are generally rather poor, many of the deposits lack modern sedimentological analysis, and the glacial versus non-glacial genesis of the diamictites is a matter of debate in the literature. However, recent studies suggest a periglacial influence of diamictite deposition, particularly for the sequences in the WCB. The stratigraphy of the various basins is described, available geochemical and geochronological information collated, and recent work regarding the periglacial nature of the diamictites discussed. Finally, an updated chronostratigraphic correlation between the basins is presented. However, much more work is required, particularly in the Neoproterozoic basins on the northern margin of the Congo Craton, and more accurate geochronological constraints are required before the Neoproterozoic palaeogeography and depositional environments of the western and northern Congo Craton can be fully understood.
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The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations
In recent years, interest in Neoproterozoic glaciations has grown as their pivotal role in Earth system evolution has become increasingly clear. One of the main goals of the IGCP Project No. 512 was to produce a synthesis of newly available information on Neoproterozoic successions worldwide similar in format to Hambrey & Harland’s (1981) Earth’s pre-Pleistocene Glacial Record. This Memoir therefore consists of a series of overview chapters followed by site-specific chapters. The overview chapters cover key topics including the history of research on Neoproterozoic glaciations, identification of glacial deposits, chemostratigraphic techniques and datasets, palaeomagnetism, biostratigraphy, geochronology and climate modelling. The site specific chapters for 60 successions worldwide include reviews of the history of research on these rocks and up-to-date syntheses of the structural framework, tectonic setting, palaeomagnetic and geochronological constraints, physical, biological, and chemical stratigraphy, and descriptions of the glaciogenic and associated strata, including economic deposits.