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Brittle tectonic evolution along the western margin of South Africa: more than 500 Myr of continued reactivation

Viola, G. and Kounov, A. and Andreoli, M. A. and Mattila, J.. (2012) Brittle tectonic evolution along the western margin of South Africa: more than 500 Myr of continued reactivation. Tectonophysics, 514-517. pp. 93-114.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/58796/

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Abstract

he brittle structural history of western South Africa has been investigated by remote sensing and field studies to build a conceptual scheme for its > 500 Ma long evolution. Paleostress tensors were computed from a significant fault-slip dataset and a relative geochronological succession of brittle deformation events was established. This was aided by separating in time faulting events through the usage of Cretaceous weathering horizons, silicified fluvial deposits, paleosols and 77–54 Ma olivine melilitite plugs as time markers. The oldest features recognized formed during four compressional episodes assigned to the Neoproterozoic Pan African evolution. This history is expressed by sub-vertical conjugate fracture sets and fits well the inferences derived from remote sensing. The greatest compressive direction rotated from NW-SE to NNE-SSW and finally to almost E–W. A subsequent ENE-WSW-oriented extensional episode is associated with the local effects of the opening of the Atlantic Ocean and was followed by a second, ca. E–W extensional episode, linked to the well-acknowledged Mid-Cretaceous (115–90 Ma) event of margin uplift. A late Santonian (85–83 Ma) NW-SE compressive paleostress deformed the Late Cretaceous sequences and was in turn followed firstly by a renewed episode of NE-SW extension and later by ca. NNE-SSW Late Maastrichtian (69–65 Ma) shortening. The latter is broadly coeval with the emplacement of the Gamoep magmatic suite. A phase of WNW-ESE Cenozoic extension is assigned to the extensional phase recorded in the Okawango delta, interpreted as reflecting propagation of the East African Rift System into southern Africa. No stress tensor was computed for the present day “Wegener anomaly” stress field, oriented NW-SE. However, in situ stress measurements were used to perform slip tendency analysis, which indicates that, under the currently existing stress conditions, WNW-ESE- and NNW-SSE-striking faults are critically stressed and are the most likely reactivated, in agreement with the present seismicity.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geologie-Paläontologie > Tektonik (nn)
UniBasel Contributors:Kounov, Alexandre
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0040-1951
e-ISSN:1879-3266
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Jan 2018 10:50
Deposited On:22 Jan 2018 10:50

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