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Abstract

Recent studies of Pan-African events in East Gondwana are critically reviewed, particularly recent models of amalgamation of East Gondwana during the Pan-African period. It is pointed out that critical data are insufficient to constrain the newly proposed models and so the classical model of the Grenvillian Circum-East Antarctic Orogen cannot yet be replaced. Grenvillian tectonothermal events with a peak between 1.0 and 1.2Ga assembled different crustal blocks of the East Antarctic Shield with different geohistories. Pan-African tectonothermal reworking took place over wide but selected areas of the orogen. Careful geochronological studies, including SHRIMP dating associated with structural and petrological investigations to correlate ages with those events, are shown to be important, since fluid-rich and/or deformational conditions are equally effective as temperature conditions for mineral recrystallization and resetting of isotopic systematics. Pan- African suture zones, one extending from the Mozambique Belt to the Shackleton Range and another connecting the Mozambique Belt to the Zambezi Belt, are equally possible, although the width of the southern Mozambique Ocean is poorly understood. The extent of Pan-African sutures in the Prydz Bay area is enigmatic, although they represent definite orogens. Palaeomagnetic studies may provide critical constraints in evaluating the sutures, provided that the age of magnetization is well established.

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