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Precambrian terranes of Benin-Nigeria and northeast Brazil and the Late Proterozoic south Atlantic fit

By
Renaud Caby
Renaud Caby
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Precambrian terranes and units of the Dahomeyan (now Beninian belt) from Togo, Benin, and southwest Nigeria are described and compared with those from the northernmost part of the Brasiliano belt. The major phases of deformation and metamorphism occurred about 600 Ma in both continents. Foreland nappes derived from passive margin sedimentary beds of the West African craton display high-pressure metamorphism. Parautochthons include slices of an ophiolitic-type assemblage. The suture zone metabasic rocks are only recorded in the Beninian belt. They may represent the granulitized and eclogitized mafic root of ensimatic arc terranes, and have no equivalent in northeast Brazil.

The Nigerian Province includes to the west a narrow elongated belt of high-pressure granulites, also found in the northernmost part of the Borborema Province of northeast Brazil. Two main lithostratigraphic units can be recognized in both provinces: (1) gray gneisses that derive from Archean plutonic rocks, thoroughly deformed, recrystallized, and remobilized during the Pan-African–Brasiliano thermo-tectonic events; and (2) Proterozoic monocyclic units displaying the same petrostructural evolution as reworked Archean, and in which we tentatively recognize a Lower Proterozoic group consisting of aluminous metaquartzites and pelitic schists, which were intruded by 2(?) to 1.8 Ga anorogenic granites, and a younger disconformable flysch-type unit of assumed Late Proterozoic age. Large-scale horizontal movements responsible for a flat-lying foliation and nappes affected several domains of the Nigerian and Borborema Provinces, whereas steep structures formed penecontemporaneously along synmetamorphic shear zones. Second-order late-metamorphic steep shear zones are considered as trans-continental lithospheric fractures that overprinted collisional structures. Among these, the 4°50′ Kandi fault and the Sobral fault represent a particularly good correlation of northeast Brazil and southwest Nigeria-Benin, and are used to propose a rigorous Precambrian fit across the south Atlantic Ocean.

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GSA Special Papers

Terranes in the Circum-Atlantic Paleozoic Orogens

R. D. Dallmeyer
R. D. Dallmeyer
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Geological Society of America
Volume
230
ISBN print:
9780813722306
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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