Evidence for late Precambrian plate tectonics in West Africa

Abstract

In the Gourma and Iforas regions (Mali) rifting occurred around 800–850 Myr ago along the eastern margin of the West African craton with a triple point in Mali, the Gourma being interpreted as an aulacogen. Oceanic closure around 600 Myr led to a collision between the passive continental margin of the West African craton and an active continental margin to the east displaying island arc and marginal trough volcano–clastic assemblages bordering a deformed continental mass intruded by a high-level batholith. The suture is marked by a string of positive gravity anomalies corresponding to the emplacement of ultrabasic and basic rocks including perhaps ophiolites. East–West shortening was accompanied by the translation onto the West African craton foreland of nappes including internal nappes displaying high pressure–low temperature metamorphism assemblages.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Shackleton, R. M. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 280, 491–497 (1976).

  2. 2

    Black, R. Bull. Soc. géol. fr. (in the press).

  3. 3

    Burke, K. & Dewey, J. F. in African Geology (eds Dessauvagie, T. E. & Whiteman A. J.) (Ibadan University Press, 1972).

  4. 4

    Burke, K., Dewey, J. F. & Kidd, W. S. F. Tectonophysics 40, 69–99 (1977).

  5. 5

    Martin, H. & Porada, H. Precamb. Res. 5, 311–357 (1977).

  6. 6

    Kroner, A. Tectonophysics 40, 101–135 (1977).

  7. 7

    Karpoff, R. Publ. Bur. Rech. gèol min. Dakar, 30, (1960).

  8. 8

    Radier, H. Bull. Serv. gèol. Prosp. min., Dakar 26, (1955).

  9. 9

    Reichelt, R. Bull. Bur. Rach. gèol. min. Fr. 53, (1972).

  10. 10

    Black, R. et al. Geol. Rdch. (in the press).

  11. 11

    Black, R. Chron. Mines Rech. min. 364, 225 (1966).

  12. 12

    Clauer, N. thesis Univ. Strasbourg (1976).

  13. 13

    Moussine-Pouchkine, A. & Bertrand-Sarfati, J. Bull. Soc. géol. Fr. (in the press).

  14. 14

    Hoffman, P., Burke, K. C. A. & Dewey, J. F. in Modern and Ancient Geosynclinal Sedimentation (eds Doth, R. H. & Shaver, R. H.) 19, 38–55, (1974).

  15. 15

    Bayer, R. & Lesquer, A. Bull. Soc. géol. Fr. (in the press).

  16. 16

    Caby, R. thesis Univ. Montpellier (1970).

  17. 17

    Bertrand, J. M. L. & Caby, R. Geol. Rdch. 67, 357–388 (1978).

  18. 18

    Sabatier, P., Geophys. J. astr. Soc. 48, 415–469 (1977).

  19. 19

    Safon, C., Vasseur, G. & Cuer, M. Geophysics 42, 1215–1229 (1977).

  20. 20

    Caby, R. Bull. Soc. géol. Fr. (in the press).

  21. 21

    Caby, R., Moussine-Pouchkine, A. C. r. hebd. Acad. Séanc. Sci., Paris 287 D, 5–8, (1978).

  22. 22

    De La Boisse, H., Lancelot, J. R. C. r. somm. Soc. Géol. Fr. 4, 223–226 (1977).

  23. 23

    Caby, R., Dostal, J. & Dupuy, C. Precamb. Res. 5, 283–297 (1977).

  24. 24

    Chikhaoui, M., Dupuy, C. & Dostal, J. Contr. Mineral. Petrol., 66, 2, 157–164 (1978).

  25. 25

    Pitcher, W. J. J. geol. Soc. Lond. 135, 137–182 (1978).

  26. 26

    Robins, B. & Gardner, P. M. Earth planet. Sci. Lett. 26, 167–178 (1975).

  27. 27

    Boullier, A. M., Davison, I., Bertrand, J. M. & Coward, M. Bull. Soc. gèol. Fr. (in the press).

  28. 28

    Black, R. & Girod, M. in African Magmatism and Tectonics (eds Clifford, T. N. & Gass, I. G.) 185–210 (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1970).

  29. 29

    Leblanc, M. Nature 261, 34–35 (1976).

  30. 30

    Molnar, P. & Tapponnier, P. Science 189, 419–426 (1975).

  31. 31

    Briden, J. L. Tectonophysics 38, 167–168 (1977).

  32. 32

    Morel-A-L'Huissier, P. & Irving, E. J. Geol. 86, 535–561 (1978).

  33. 33

    Morel-A-L'Huissier, P. thesis Univ. Montpellier (1978).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Black, R., Caby, R., Moussine-Pouchkine, A. et al. Evidence for late Precambrian plate tectonics in West Africa. Nature 278, 223–227 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1038/278223a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.