Southern African perspectives on the long-term morpho-tectonic evolution of cratonic interiors

Kounov, A. and Viola, G. and Dunkl, I. and Frimmel, H. E.. (2013) Southern African perspectives on the long-term morpho-tectonic evolution of cratonic interiors. Tectonophysics, 601. pp. 177-191.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/58794/

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We propose a refined conceptual model for the Paleo- and Mesozoic morpho-tectonic evolution of the southern African cratonic interior. Constraints are derived from new zircon and apatite fission-track and (U–Th–[Sm])/He dates (ZFT, AFT, ZHe and AHe) of rocks from the Augrabies Falls and Fish River Canyon regions in South Africa and southern Namibia, respectively. The combined ZFT and ZHe thermochronological results suggest a smooth and simple tectonic evolution, wherein the study area cooled monotonically as one coherent block from the Early Silurian to the Mid Triassic in response to very low denudation rates of less than 5 m/myr. Some of the new zircon ages may indicate a discrete and short-lived period of enhanced cooling interrupting this monotonic cooling during the Mid Devonian–Early Carboniferous. We tentatively correlate this episode to the events that caused the regional hiatus that separates the Cape Supergroup from the overlying Karoo Supergroup.
Apatite fission-track and (U–Th–[Sm])/He data joint modeling reveals a period of accelerated regional cooling through 120 to 40 °C between 100 and 65 Ma ago. We interpret the latter as most probably due to regional uplift in combination with high river gradients and enhanced erosion rates in the Orange and Fish River basins, which, during the Cretaceous, were probably part of the greater Kalahari River catchment area. Based on the apatite results, a denudation rate of ca. 25 m/myr was calculated for the Late Cretaceous. At that time the area was probably characterized by an elevated average altitude and low relief, as indicated by the AFT and AHe age patterns.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Tektonik (nn)
UniBasel Contributors:Kounov, Alexandre
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 09:29
Deposited On:02 Feb 2018 09:29

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