Palaeogeographical and palaeoclimatic evolution of the intracratonic Parnaíba Basin, NE Brazil using GPlates plate tectonic reconstructions and chemostratigraphic tools
Marwan M. Jaju, Haydon P. Mort, Fadi H. Nader, Mário L. Filho, David I. M. Macdonald, 2018. "Palaeogeographical and palaeoclimatic evolution of the intracratonic Parnaíba Basin, NE Brazil using GPlates plate tectonic reconstructions and chemostratigraphic tools", Cratonic Basin Formation: A Case Study of the Parnaíba Basin of Brazil, M. C. Daly, R. A. Fuck, J. Julià, D.I.M. MacDonald, A. B. Watts
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The intracratonic Paleozoic Parnaíba Basin, NE Brazil covers c. 600 000 km2. Lithostratigraphic, mineralogical and geochemical approaches were used to deduce the changing environments of deposition of the Parnaíba Basin based on 150, mostly argillite, samples (Silurian–earliest Triassic). The results indicate that brackish conditions and mixed kerogen sources were important and that the palaeowater depth and sources of meteoric water varied from west to east. The chemical index of alteration results, together with other elemental and mineralogical data, indicate that the western margin was humid until the end of the Carboniferous and then became arid, whereas the eastern margin showed the reverse pattern. This supports observations of major stratigraphic differences between the two margins. There were also major variations in the palaeoredox and palaeosalinity conditions (oxic and fresh to brackish water systems in the east v. suboxic to dysoxic and saline water systems in the west). The clay mineral assemblages are characteristically dominated by kaolinite, which is considered to be inherited from weathering horizons developed in silicic granitic terranes. Regional palaeoclimate reconstructions were carried out in the Parnaíba Basin by linking GPlates software with the South America plate motion model (northwards drift during the Paleozoic coupled with a latest Paleozoic rotation phase) and with the regional database of information on the location, formation name and original references for each locality.
Supplementary material: Chemical composition data and geographical coordinates from the 177 outcrops investigated as part of this study: a detailed description of the geochemical and mineralogical analyses with calculation of the CIA value and the GPlates Markup Language File (Animation 1). Supplementary material available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4100348
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Cratonic Basin Formation: A Case Study of the Parnaíba Basin of Brazil
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Cratonic basins are large, distinctive features of the continental crust. They are preferentially developed on thick continental lithosphere, are typically sub-circular in shape and subside over periods of hundreds of millions of years. They are also endowed with significant resources. However, in spite of their location in continental interiors and often well-known geology, the subsidence driving mechanism and tectonic setting of these basins remains controversial.
This volume presents both lithospheric and basin scale datasets acquired specifically to interrogate the tectonic process of cratonic basin formation. Focused on the Silurian to Triassic Parnaíba cratonic basin of Brazil, the papers discuss the results of a multidisciplinary basin analysis project comprising new geophysical, geological and geochemical data. This unique dataset enables the characterization of the lithospheric crust and mantle beneath the Parnaíba Basin, constrains the detailed evolution of the basin itself, and enables comparisons with cratonic basins globally. Several convergent themes emerge providing new and powerful constraints for models of the driving mechanisms of these enigmatic basins.