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The CONGO CRATON, covered by the Palaeozoic
Palaeozoic
-to-recent Congo Basin
Congo Basin
, is an ancient Precambrian
Precambrian
craton that with four others (the Kaapvaal , Zimbabwe , Tanzania , and West African cratons) makes up the modern continent of Africa
Africa
. These cratons were formed between about 3.6 and 2.0 billion years ago and have been tectonically stable since that time. All of these cratons are bounded by younger fold belts formed between 2.0 billion and 300 million years ago.

The Congo Craton
Craton
occupies a large part of central southern Africa, extending from the Kasai region of the DRC into Sudan
Sudan
and Angola
Angola
. It forms parts of the countries of Gabon
Gabon
, Cameroon
Cameroon
, and the Central African Republic . A small portion extends into Zambia
Zambia
as well, where it is called the Bangweulu Block .

CONTENTS

* 1 Congo–São Francisco

* 1.1 West Congo Belt

* 2 See also

* 3 References

* 3.1 Notes * 3.2 Sources

CONGO–SãO FRANCISCO

The Congo Craton
Craton
and the São Francisco Craton
Craton
are stable Archaean blocks that formed a coherent landmass until the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean during the break-up of Gondwana
Gondwana
(c. 2000–130 Ma). They stabilised during the Trans-Amazonian orogeny and Eburnian orogeny and have been affected by a long series of orogens since resulting in similar sequences on both blocks.

Congo–São Francisco experienced three large igneous province (LIP) events at 1380–1370 Ma, c. 1505 Ma, and c. 1110 Ma. The relative position of Congo–São Francisco within the supercontinent Nuna/Columbia can be reconstructed because these LIP events also affected other Precambrian
Precambrian
continental blocks. Within Nuna the northern part of Siberia was located adjacent to western São Francisco. 1110 Ma dyke swarms in Angola
Angola
are absent in Siberia but coincide with the Umkondo LIP on the Kalahari Craton
Craton
and magmatic event in the Bundelkhand Craton
Craton
in India, the Amazonian Craton
Craton
in South America, and the Keweenawan Rift
Rift
in Laurentia
Laurentia
(although the latter was located far from the other continental blocks). A series of 1500 Ma dyke swarms also support the close relation between Congo–São Francisco and Siberia: Kuonamka in Siberia and Curaçá and Chapada Diamantina in São Francisco and Angola. These dyke swarms radiate from a mantle plume centre located in what is now north-eastern Siberia. Magmatic events in Congo (Kunene) and Siberia (Chieress) at 1384 Ma also corroborate the closeness of these two continents during at least 120 million years.

It is possible that the 1110 Ma LIP in Congo–São Francisco, Amazonia, and India was part of a much larger event that also involved West Africa
Africa
and Kalahari (with a possible but unlikely link to the 1075 Ma Warakurna LIP in Australia). However, while the palaeo-latitudes of India and Kalahari are well constrained, those of Amazonia and Congo–São Francisco are not, making any plate tectonic reconstruction speculative.

At the time for the formation of the supercontinent Gondwana
Gondwana
at c. 550 Ma the Congo Craton
Craton
formed the already amalgamated central African landmass. The southern and eastern margins (modern coordinates) of this landmass was made of the Archaean Angola-Kasai block and Tanzanian Craton. These proto-Congo blocks were deformed in the Palaeoproterozoic Eburnean orogeny but later stabilised.

WEST CONGO BELT

Before the opening of the South Atlantic the São Francisco and Congo cratons were connected by a "cratonic" bridge, the Bahia–Gabon Bridge. The most recent orogenic event on this bridge occurred at 2 Ga, so the connection between São Francisco and Congo must have formed during the Palaeoproterozoic. South of this cratonic bridge the Araçuaí–West Congo orogen evolved in the Neoproterozoic in a sea basin made of oceanic crust, an embayment in the São Francisco–Congo continent.

The West Congo Pan-African Belt includes major magmatic events at c. 1000 and 910 Ma. In the Early Neoproterozoic, the western edge of Congo Craton
Craton
was the location for the initial rifting of Rodinia before its break-up. During the Neoproterozoic, Central Congo or Bas-Congo
Bas-Congo
became a passive margin on which was deposited 4,000 m (13,000 ft) sediments. At the end of the Neoproterozoic, Bas-Congo
Bas-Congo
was only affected by the Pan-African orogeny at 566 Ma to a limited extent protected by this passive margin and by the thickness of the craton. At 1000 Ma peralkaline magmatism initiated an early transtensional setting along the western edge of the Congo Craton. An LIP at c. 930–920 Ma was followed by felsic magmatism between c. 920–910 Ma which had a short emplacement interval and resulted in a 3,000–4,000 m (9,800–13,100 ft) thick sequence. Mafic-felsic magma sequences (6,000 m (20,000 ft) thick) on the western edge of the Congo Craton are similar to those of the Paraná and Deccan LIPs, but in the Congo Craton
Craton
the magma source became shallower with time. There was no geodynamic activity along the western Congo margin during the Mesoproterozoic.

SEE ALSO

* Damara Orogeny

REFERENCES

NOTES

* ^ Ernst et al. 2013 , Conclusions, p. 116 * ^ Pedreira & De Waele 2008 , p. 33–34 * ^ Ernst et al. 2013 , Abstract * ^ Pisarevsky et al. 2014 , Congo/ São Francisco and Siberia * ^ de Kock et al. 2014 , Other 1.1 Ga LIPs?, pp. 139–140 * ^ De Waele, Johnson Pedrosa-Soares, A. C.; Trindade, R. I. F. D.; Martins, M.; Noce, C. M.; Liu, D. (2012). "Neoproterozoic glacial deposits from the Araçuaí orogen, Brazil: Age, provenance and correlations with the São Francisco craton and West Congo belt" (PDF). Gondwana
Gondwana
Research. 21 (2): 451–465. doi :10.1016/j.gr.2011.04.008 . Retrieved 7 May 2017. * de Kock, M. O.; Ernst, R.; Söderlund, U.; Jourdan, F.; Hofmann, A.; Le Gall, B.; Bertrand, H.; Chisonga, B. C.; Beukes, N.; Rajesh, H. M.; Moseki, L. M.; Fuchs, R. (2014). "Dykes of the 1.11 Ga Umkondo LIP, Southern Africa: Clues to a complex plumbing system" (PDF). Precambrian
Precambrian
Research. 249: 129–143. doi :10.1016/j.precamres.2014.05.006 . Retrieved 6 May 2017. * De Waele, B.; Johnson, S. P.; Pisarevsky, S. A. (2008). " Palaeoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic growth and evolution of the eastern Congo Craton: its role in the Rodinia
Rodinia
puzzle" (PDF). Precambrian
Precambrian
Research. 160 (1): 127–141. Retrieved 6 May 2017. * Ernst, R. E.; Pereira, E.; Hamilton, M. A.; Pisarevsky, S. A.; Rodriques, J.; Tassinari, C. C.; Teixeira, W.; Van-Dunem, V. (2013). " Mesoproterozoic intraplate magmatic ‘barcode’record of the Angola portion of the Congo Craton: Newly dated magmatic events at 1505 and 1110Ma and implications for Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent reconstructions" (PDF). Precambrian
Precambrian
Research. 230: 103–118. Retrieved 6 April 2017. * Pisarevsky, S. A.; Elming, S. Å.; Pesonen, L. J.; Li, Z. X. (2014). " Mesoproterozoic paleogeography: supercontinent and beyond" (PDF). Precambrian
Precambrian
Research. 244: 207–225. doi :10.1016/j.precamres.2013.05.014 . Retrieved 6 May 2017. * Pedreira, A. J.; De Waele, B. (2008). "Contemporaneous evolution of the Palaeoproterozoic– Mesoproterozoic sedimentary basins of the São Francisco–Congo Craton" (PDF). Geological Society, London, Special
Special
Publications. 294 (1): 33–48. Retrieved 6 May 2017. * Tack, L.; Wingate, M. T. D.; Liégeois, J. P.; Fernandez-Alonso, M.; Deblond, A. (2001). "Early Neoproterozoic magmatism (1000–910 Ma) of the Zadinian and Mayumbian Groups (Bas-Congo): onset of Rodinia rifting at the western edge of the Congo craton" (PDF). Precambrian research. 110 (1): 277–306. doi :10.1016/S0301-9268(01)00192-9 . Retrieved 7 May 2017.

* v * t * e

Major African geological formations

PLATES

* African Plate
African Plate
* Somali Plate
Somali Plate
* Madagascar Plate
Madagascar Plate
* Seychelles Plate
Seychelles Plate

CRATONS AND SHIELDS

* Arabian-Nubian Shield
Arabian-Nubian Shield
* Congo Craton * Kaapvaal Craton
Craton
* Kalahari Craton
Craton
* Saharan Metacraton
Saharan Metacraton
* Tanzania Craton
Craton
* Tuareg Shield
Tuareg Shield
* West African Craton
Craton
* Zimbabwe Craton
Craton

SHEAR ZONES

* Aswa Dislocation * Broodkop Shear Zone * Central African Shear Zone
Central African Shear Zone
* Chuan Shear Zones * Foumban Shear Zone * Kandi Fault Zone * Mwembeshi Shear Zone * Todi Shear Zone * Western Meseta Shear Zone

OROGENS

* Alpide Orogen
Orogen
* Cape Fold Belt * Damara Orogen
Orogen
* East African Orogen
Orogen
* Eburnean Orogen
Orogen
* Gondwanide Orogen
Orogen
* Kibaran Orogen
Orogen
* Kuunga Orogen
Orogen
* Mauritanide Belt
Mauritanide Belt
* Pan-African orogens * Terra Australis
Terra Australis
Orogen
Orogen

RIFTS

* Afar Triangle
Afar Triangle
* Anza trough * Bahr el Arab rift
Bahr el Arab rift
* Benue Trough
Benue Trough
* Blue Nile rift
Blue Nile rift
* East African Rift
Rift
* Gulf of Suez Rift
Rift
* Lamu Embayment * Melut Basin
Melut Basin
* Muglad Basin
Muglad Basin
* Red Sea Rift
Rift
* Sangha Aulacogen * Atbara rift * White Nile rift

SEDIMENTARY BASINS

* Angola
Angola
Basin * Aoukar
Aoukar
* Blue Nile Basin * Chad Basin
Chad Basin
* Congo Basin
Congo Basin
* Douala Basin * El Djouf
El Djouf
* Foreland Karoo Basin * Gabon
Gabon
Basin * Iullemmeden Basin
Iullemmeden Basin
* Kufra Basin * Murzuq Basin
Murzuq Basin
* Niger Delta Basin * Ogaden Basin
Ogaden Basin
* Orange River basin * Ouled Abdoun Basin * Owambo Basin
Owambo Basin
* Reggane Basin * Rio del Rey Basin * Sirte Basin
Sirte Basin
* Somali Coastal Basin * Taoudeni basin
Taoudeni basin
* Tanzania Coastal Basin * Tindouf Basin
Tindouf Basin
* Turkana Basin

MOUNTAIN RANGES

* Aïr Mountains
Aïr Mountains
* Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains
* Aurès Mountains
Aurès Mountains
* Bambouk Mountains * Blue Mountains * Cameroon
Cameroon
line * Central Pangean Mountains
Central Pangean Mountains
* Chaillu Mountains
Chaillu Mountains
* Drakensberg
Drakensberg
* Ethiopian Highlands
Ethiopian Highlands
* East African mountains * Great Escarpment * Great Karas Mountains
Great Karas Mountains
* Guinée forestière
Guinée forestière
* Imatong Mountains
Imatong Mountains
* Jebel Uweinat
Jebel Uweinat
* Loma Mountains
Loma Mountains
* Mandara Mountains
Mandara Mountains
* Marrah Mountains
Marrah Mountains
* Mitumba Mountains * Nuba Mountains
Nuba Mountains
* Rif
Rif
Mountains * Rwenzori Mountains
Rwenzori Mountains
* Sankwala Mountains
Sankwala Mountains
* Serra da Leba
Serra da Leba
* Serra da Chela
Serra da Chela
* Teffedest Mountains
Teffedest Mountains
* Tibesti Mountains
Tibesti Mountains

* v * t * e

Continents of the world

Africa
Africa

Antarctica
Antarctica

Asia
Asia

Australia

Europe
Europe

North America
North America

South America
South America

Afro-Eurasia
Afro-Eurasia

America

Eurasia
Eurasia

Oceania
Oceania

* FORMER SUPERCONTINENTS Gondwana
Gondwana
* Laurasia
Laurasia
* Pangaea
Pangaea
* Pannotia
Pannotia
* Rodinia
Rodinia
* Columbia * Kenorland * Nena * Sclavia * Ur * Vaalbara
Vaalbara

* HISTORICAL CONTINENTS Amazonia * Arctica
Arctica
* Asiamerica * Atlantica
Atlantica
* Avalonia
Avalonia
* Baltica
Baltica
* Cimmeria * Congo craton
Congo craton
* Euramerica
Euramerica
* Kalaharia * Kazakhstania * Laurentia
Laurentia
* North China * Siberia * South China * East Antarctica
Antarctica
* India

* SUBMERGED CONTINENTS Kerguelen Plateau
Kerguelen Plateau
* Zealandia