Congo Basin: structural evolution in a deforming cratonic plate
Earth and related Environmental sciences
Geodynamics and mineral resources
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The Alfred Wegener theory of plate tectonics is based on the continental drift hypothesis and postulates that the Earth s surface is composed of major tectonic plates that move in response to the sea floor spreading. The plate interior is supposed to be rigid or weakly deforming, the tectonic deformation occurring at their boundary. Consequently, continental deformation away from the plate boundaries has long been neglected in the geodynamic models. The Congo basin which develops in the middle of the Congo cratonic plate, has long been regarded as unaffected by tectonic deformation. However, seismic reflection profiles and sismotectonic studies have suggested that the Congo basin could be deforming during his history after its initiation as a failed rift system. A recent review of the tectonic structure and tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the Congo basin confirms this opinion and further shows that the Congo basin was episodically but repeatedly affected by tectonic compression during his long history since the Precambrian-Cambrian transition, due to the action of far-field stresses generated at plate boundaries. This long-lived but episodic deformation history had important consequences in terms of petroleum system development.
CitationDelvaux , D.; Kadima, K.E.; Mulumba, J.L.; Sebagenzi, M.N. (2012). Congo Basin: structural evolution in a deforming cratonic plate. , 4th International Geologica Belgica Meeting, 11-14/09/2012, Institut royal des Sciences Naturelles, Brussels,