Abstract

After tilt correction for Ediacaran thick-skinned folding, a pair of Cryogenian half grabens at the autochthonous southwest cape of Congo Craton (CC) in northwest Namibia restore to different orientations. Toekoms sub-basin trended east-northeast, parallel to Northern Zone (NZ) of Damara belt, and was bounded by a normal-sense growth fault (2 290 m throw) dipping 57° toward CC. Soutput sub-basin trended northwest, oblique to NZ and to north-northwest-trending Kaoko Belt. It was bounded by a growth fault (750 m down-dip throw) dipping steeply (~75°) toward CC. Soutput growth fault could be an oblique (splay) fault connecting a Cryogenian rift zone in NZ with a sinistral transform zone in Kaoko Belt. A transform origin for the Kaoko margin accords with its magma-poor abrupt shelf-to-basin change implying mechanical strength, unlike the magma-rich southern margin where a gradual shelf-to-basin change implies a mechanically weak extended margin. A rift−transform junction is kinematically compatible with observed north-northwest−south-southeast Cryogenian crustal stretching within CC. Post-rift subsidence of the CC carbonate platform varies strongly across the south-facing but not the west-facing shelf. A sheared western CC margin differs from existing Kaoko Belt models that posit orthogonal opening with hyper-extended continental crust. Carbonate-dominated sedimentation over southwest CC implies palaeolatitudes ≤35° between 770 and 600 Ma.

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