Linking the Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic Belts Bordering the West African and Amazonian Cratons: Review and New Hypothesis

Rossignol, Camille

Correlations between the Neoproterozoic belts surrounding the West African Craton and northern Brazilian cratons have long been a subject of interest and controversies. Due to the splitting of African and South American continents by the Atlantic oceanic domains, no direct links are preserved, requiring relying on various geological or geophysical characteristics to propose such correlations. In addition to the opening of the Atlantic oceanic domains, another difficulty arises from the covering of northern Brazilian belts by upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic basins, making these correlations speculative. Here, we propose new correlations based on the comparison between African and Brazilian belts. Recently, new geochronological and geodynamical data obtained in West Africa have evidenced four orogens in the Neoproterozoic belts of the western margin of the West Africa Craton, while the belts on the eastern side underwent only one orogeny. Similarities with the Pan-African I (900–650 Ma) and with the Pan-African II (650–480 Ma) orogenic events have been evidenced in the western Brazilian belts (Araguay and Paraguay). The first two orogens on the western margin (Pan-African I and Pan-African II) can thus be extended to the western Brazilian belts and can be considered as parts of a single geodynamic system running from the Mauritania to the Paraguay including the “Gurupi rift” as an aulacogen connected to the NNW-SSE Panafrican I and II oceanic domains. Consequently, the eastern Brazilian belt should rather be linked the Eastern Trans-Saharan belts.
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