Abstract

The significance of new age determinations on pre-Katangan (Late Precambrian) rocks and minerals from Zambia and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Rhodesia is discussed. In northwestern Rhodesia, the Lomagundi-Piriwiri sediments were deposited between 2500 and 2000 m.y. ago and were folded along meridional trends at circa 1940 m.y. A later episode of folding and metamorphism along similar trends occurred about 1700 m.y. ago, but only affected the western part of the sedimentary sequence (the Piriwiri Series). This latter date is comparable to that which appears to characterize the Tumbide trend, a N- to NE-trending fold system, in Zambia.In Zambia the Tumbide trend is the oldest tectonic episode preserved in the basement and is found only in isolated blocks and cores into which later tectonisms have not penetrated. The dominant pre-Katangan tectonism is represented by the NE to ENE Irumide trend. Such tectonic trends are particularly well developed in the Irumide Orogenic Belt of northern Zambia and adjacent Tanzania. Age determinations set a younger limit of circa 900 m.y. to this trend and the existence of an Irumide Cycle between about 1600 and 900 m.y. is suggested. The possibility that the relatively unmetamorphosed sediments of the Upper Plateau Series and Abercorn Sandstones at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika, the Mafingi Series of northern Malawi, and the Konse Series of Tanzania, represent near-contemporaneous platform deposition associated with the Irumide belt is considered.From this and other recent studies the distribution of orogenic belts in central and eastern Africa can be revised and a number of features of their pattern and inter-relationships noted.

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