Published:January 01, 2013
This chapter presents a synthesis of the pre-break-up plate tectonics of western Gondwana and the pre- and syn-rift magmatism in the SW South Atlantic margin (Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina) and the conjugate African continental margin (Angola, Namibia and South Africa). An updated database of the geographical locations of the primary available radiometric ages is also included in this work. A systematic analysis of the K–Ar and Ar/Ar ages from outcrops and boreholes shows a marked Mid to Late Jurassic peak in the southernmost segment of the South Atlantic, related to the emplacement of the Karoo volcanics in South Africa and in Argentina (including the Falkland Islands), and an important Early Cretaceous peak with age distributions that are related to the Gondwana break-up and formation of rift basins along the incipient continental margins. In both the southern Brazilian and Argentinian margins, as well as in the conjugate Namibian and South African margins, several igneous centres and basaltic lava flows are suggestive of the influence of mantle plumes in the Early Cretaceous, which were heralded by mafic dyke swarms in Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Namibia.
A complete table with Radiometric ages of Jurassic–Early Cretaceous magmatism in the southern portion of West Gondwana is available at: www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18589
Figures & Tables
Conjugate Divergent Margins
The main focus of the book is the geological and geophysical interpretation of sedimentary basins along the South, Central and North Atlantic conjugate margins, but concepts derived from physical models, outcrop analogues and present-day margins are also discussed in some chapters. There is an encompassing description of several conjugate margins worldwide, based on recent geophysical and geological datasets. An overview of important aspects related to the geodynamic development and petroleum geology of Atlantic-type sedimentary basins is also included. Several chapters analyse genetic mechanisms and break-up processes associated with rift-phase structures and salt tectonics, providing a full description of conjugate margin basins based on deep seismic profiles and potential field methods.