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Tectonic evolution of an Early Cryogenian late- magmatic basin in central Madagascar

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 07:54 authored by Costa, RL, Schmitt, RS, Collins, AS, Sheree ArmisteadSheree Armistead, Gomes, IV, Archibald, DB, Razakamanana, T
Central and southern Madagascar comprise a number of distinctive Archaean crustal blocks (the Antongil-Masora and Antananarivo domains) overlain by Proterozoic supracrustal sequences, preserved in the East African Orogen. Here, we present U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopic data for two supracrustal units from detrital and metamorphic zircon grains. The lower sequence is comprised of quartzite and calc-silicate units with a major Palaeoproterozoic detrital zircon source and a minor Archaean contribution with a maximum depositional age of ca. 1780 Ma. This sequence reflects a stable shelf sedimentation within the Antananarivo Domain and is correlated with the Itremo Group. U-Pb and Hf data are equivocal in determining the direct sources for the Archaean and early Palaeoproterozoic detrital zircon grains. However, the abundant ca. 2.3-1.8 Ga detrital grains are correlative with the Congo-Tanzania-Bangweulu Block and as these are close to the inferred age of the Itremo Basin, these are interpreted to be single cycle detritus. This implies that the Congo-Tanzania-Bangweulu craton was close to central Madagascar at ca. 1.8-1.6 Ga and the lower sequence would correspond to an originally contiguous late Palaeoproterozoic to early Mesoproterozoic sedimentary basin across central Madagascar. The upper metasedimentary unit has contrasting detrital sources and is represented mostly by biotite-plagioclase paragneiss, with an inferred psammitic protolith interleaved with volcanic/subvolcanic andesitic/rhyolitic dikes. The predominant Tonian-aged population (ca. 860-710 Ma) are igneous zircon grains with εHf(t) values varying from -15.1 to -29.2 and TDM Hf model ages between ca. 3.4 and 2.6 Ga. These grains were derived from the ca. 850-750 Ma Imorona-Itsindro magmatic suite. Their Neoarchaean-Palaeoproterozoic cores are interpreted as xenocrysts, reinforcing that the Imorona-Itsindro magmatism has a prominent continental reworking component. The probable tectonic setting for this Early Cryogenian sedimentary basin would represent a transition from an intra-arc to an intracontinental setting related to an outboard subduction, partially jammed at ca. 710 Ma due to the subduction of a ridge-transform system. The analogue would be the western US, where the Basin and Range region corresponds to a wide rift associated with a major mantle thermal anomaly. The absence of geological units and structures between ca. 720 and 635 Ma in central Madagascar corroborate with this model for a transition to a transform continental setting. The pre-Gondwana amalgamation convergence in the Ediacaran-Cambrian, that deformed and metamorphosed all units in central Madagascar units, is accounted for by ca. 550 Ma metamorphic rims on zircon grains from the quartzites in the Itremo Group.


Publication title

Journal of African Earth Sciences



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School of Natural Sciences


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

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Copyright 2021 Elsevier Ltd.

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