Basins within cratonic environments offer valuable insights into the fragmentation, dispersion, and agglutination of the lithosphere within supercontinents. The southern São Francisco Craton is home to sedimentary basins that formed in both intraplate tectonic settings (late Paleoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic and Mesozoic) and convergent tectonic settings (Ediacaran to Cambrian). To elucidate the Phanerozoic thermal history of the craton and the long-term depositional history of the southern São Francisco Craton’s cover, a comprehensive study was conducted utilizing detrital zircons through zircon fission-track (ZFT) thermochronology and U-Pb-Hf geochronology. This study analyzed samples from the following units: (1) the intracratonic basin—Lower and Upper Espinhaço Supergroup, with depositional age intervals ranging 1800−1600 Ma and 1200−920 Ma, respectively; (2) the rift-related passive margin basin—Lower Macaúbas Group (720 Ma and 640 Ma) and Jequitaí Formation, which is likely of Cryogenian age (650−635 Ma); (3) and the foreland basin—Bambui Group and Três Marias Formation, with ages of ca. 600−520 Ma and 520−480 Ma, respectively. U-Pb-Hf detrital zircon geochronology revealed the complex depositional history of the southern São Francisco Craton, and indicated changing source rocks over time. Conversely, the ZFT analysis of Precambrian to Cambrian samples allowed for the identification and characterization of Phanerozoic events in the southern São Francisco Craton. These events include: (1) the exhumation and late orogenic uplift of the foreland at ca. 500−480 Ma (mean age of 499 ± 5.5 Ma) during the late stages of the Brasiliano−Pan-African Cycle, which was associated with the Araçuaí Belt and lithospheric rebound of the peripheral cratonic margin of the southern São Francisco Craton; and (2) an age of 330−280 Ma (mean age of 306.6 ± 4.8 Ma) that possibly resulted from ice retreat and isostatic rebound interior of the Gondwana Paleocontinent. Additionally, analysis of detrital zircons from the Areado Group shows a later tectonic event recorded at 128.1 ± 9.4 Ma, which indicates Mesozoic intracontinental rifting. Based on these results and interpretations, the timing and exhumation of the southern São Francisco Craton during the Phanerozoic can be attributed to the final stages of the continental collision of the southern São Francisco Craton and Congo Craton and large-scale continental uplift during the Permo-Carboniferous late Paleozoic Ice Age of Gondwana. Overall, the findings demonstrate a direct correlation between known tectonic events at the plate margins of Western Gondwana and periods of cratonic basin formation.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.