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The basement of the East European Platform corresponding to northeastern Sarmatia is known as the Voronezh Crystalline Massif (VCM). The Kursk microcontinent, which lies in northeastern Sarmatia, occupies the bulk of the Voronezh Crystalline Massif. The predominant portion of the Kursk microcontinent is a combination of sedimentary–volcanic complexes making up greenstone belts and granite-gneiss (granite-migmatite) associations of the granite-greenstone domain bearing the same name. The smaller Kursk–Besedino granulite-gneiss terrane is situated in the central part of the microcontinent. The following sequence of events may be proposed as a preliminary model of crustal evolution: (1) Paleo- to Mesoarchean: formation of granite-greenstone continental crust (3.7–3.1 Ga); (2) events related to the activity of a mantle plume 2.85–2.82 Ga ago: underplating by mantle-derived magmas; formation of an intracontinental depression; its rapid filling with sediments, including Fe-rich varieties; and metamorphism of granite-greenstone basement and the sedimentary fill of the depression; and (3) Neoarchean and/or Paleoproterozoic: collisional compression and transformation of the depression into a synformal tectonic nappe.

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