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Abstract

Analysis of new lithological, structural, metamorphic and geochronological data from extensive mapping in Mozambique permits recognition of two distinct crustal blocks separated by the Lurio Belt shear zone. Extrapolation of the Mozambique data to adjacent areas in Sri Lanka and Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica permits the recognition of similar crustal blocks and allows the interpretation that the various blocks in Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Antarctica were once part of a mega-nappe, forming part of northern Gondwana, which was thrust-faulted c. 600 km over southern Gondwana during amalgamation of Gondwana at c. 590–550 Ma. The data suggest a deeper level of erosion in southern Africa compared with Antarctica. It is possible that this thrust domain extends, through the Zambezi Belt or Valley, as far west as the Damara Orogen in Namibia with the Naukluft nappes in Namibia, the Makuti Group, the Masoso Suite in the Rushinga area and the Urungwe klippen in northern Zimbabwe, fitting the mega-nappe pattern. Erosional products of the mountain belt are now represented by 700–400 Ma age detrital zircons present in the various sandstone formations of the Transantarctic Mountains, their correlatives in Australia, as well as the Urfjell Group (western Dronning Maud Land) and probably the Natal Group in South Africa.

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