Proterozoic metasediments of the Itremo Group in central Madagascar probably represent a passive margin sequence predating Gondwana assembly. The quartzites are well-sorted quartz arenites that contain flat lamination, wave ripples, current ripple cross-lamination, and dune cross bedding. The carbonate rocks preserve abundant stromatolites and algal laminates. A continental source is indicated by mudrock major and trace element chemistry. The combination of lithologic association, sediment architecture and mudrock chemistry indicates that the sequence was deposited on a continental shelf or platform.
SHRIMP data from detrital zircons indicate that the source area included early Proterozoic and late Archean rocks with ages between 1.85 and 2.69 Ga, and that the depositional age of the Itremo Group must be less than 1855 ± 11 Ma. The sequence has been deformed into a series of large-scale folds separated by ductile shear zones. SHRIMP data indicate both massive lead loss from detrital zircons and new zircon growth in the metasediments at 833 ± 112 Ma, which we interpret as the age of metamorphism of the sequence. Comparison of detrital grain ages with basement ages in East Africa and in India indicates that the source area for the Itremo Group probably lay on the present African mainland.