Abstract

Field and remote-sensing data have enabled identification of a previously unrecognized discontinuous belt of ophiolitic nappe remnants in northeastern Sudan. The belt crops out for 200 km in a west southwest to southwest direction from the western margin of the Arabian-Nubian shield into the gneissic terrane previously accepted as part of the Archean to Paleoproterozoic Nile craton. Although highly dismembered and metamorphosed, the belt contains all the components of a Phanerozoic-type ophiolite. The ophiolite belt is interpreted as a suture zone (Atmur-Delgo suture), manifesting collision (∼700 Ma) between a passive-margin terrane in the south with an island-arc terrane in the north, following the consumption of an oceanic basin along a north-dipping subduction zone. Our results indicate that previously recognized crustal provinces in northeastern Africa must be reassessed critically.

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