The Congo Basin: Stratigraphy and subsurface structure defined by regional seismic reflection, refraction and well data

D. Delvaux, F. Maddaloni, M. Tesauro, C. Braitenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The Congo basin (CB) occupies a large part of the Congo craton, which derived from the amalgamation of different cratonic pieces. As intracratonic basin, it initiated, possibly as a failed rift, in late Mesoproterozoic and evolved during the Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic in an intraplate setting. For this reason, the CB can be considered a natural laboratory for investigating the processes that govern the long–term evolution of continental interiors. In this study, we reconstructed the stratigraphy and tectonic evolution of the CB using all available and geological seismic data (reflection and refraction seismics, borehole and field data). We interpreted almost 2600 km of seismic reflection profiles and well log data located inside the central area of the CB (the “Cuvette Centrale”). The obtained model will be further constrained by aeromagnetic and satellite gravity data and density measurements from rock samples in a next paper. Results show that the depth to the basement varies quite significantly, defining a series of structural highs and depocenters that developed throughout the history of the basin. The major controlling factors for the development of the CB are, besides the deep geodynamic processes, the inherited heterogeneity of the pre-Neoproterozoic basement, the tectonic evolution of Rodinia, Gondwana and Pangea amalgamation and breakup, and environmental conditions influenced by the drifting through the South Pole towards its present-day equatorial position and global climatic fluctuations between icehouse and greenhouse conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103407
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume198
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Basin Tectonic Evolution
  • Congo Basin
  • Intracratonic basins
  • Sediments

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