Crustal evolution of the Paleoproterozoic Ubendian Belt (SW Tanzania) western margin: A Central African Shield amalgamation tale

Tectonic model of metagranitoids and granoporphyries emplacement of the Ufipa Terrane


The Ubendian Belt between the Archaean Tanzania Craton and the Bangweulu Block, represents a Paleoproterozoic orogeny of these two constituents of the Congo craton at ~1.8 Ga, forming the Central African Shield, during the Columbia Supercontinent cycle and consolidated during the Gondwana assembly. Metagranitic rocks from the Southern and Northern Ufipa Terrane (Western Ubendian Corridor) and those of the Bangweulu Block are compositionally similar and are contemporaneous. The protolith of the Ufipa Terrane is originated from the collided crustal rocks of the Bangweulu Block. New LA-ICP-MS zircon Usingle bondPb age of metagranitoids and granoporphyries confirmed magmatic events from 1.89 to 1.85 Ga. The metagranitoids of the Western Ubendian Corridor and that of the Bangweulu Block cannot be distinguished by it is trace element characteristics and age. Geochemically, they belong to high-K calc-alkaline to tholeiite series. The 1.89–1.85 Ga metagranitoids and granoporphyries are characterized by evolved nature, which are common for slab-failure derived magmas. Such geochemical features and the presence of ~2.0 Ga eclogites suggest an Orosirian oceanic subduction and subsequent slab break-off. Melt derived from the mafic upper portion of torn slab lead to the partial melting of crust which formed high-K and calc-alkaline, I- and S-type magmatism in the Bangweulu Block and the Ufipa Terrane. Zircons from two metagranites from the Northern Ufipa Terrane show Neoproterozoic (Ediacaran) overprints at ~570 Ma, suggesting the Bangweulu Block collided with the continental margin of the Tanzania Craton. However, we found non-annealed Orosirian apatite in metagranitoids from the Southern Ufipa Terrane and the Kate–Ufipa Complex, implying that areal heterogeneity of the Pan-African tectonothermal overprint in the Ufipa Terrane. All evidences suggest that the Bangweulu Block and Ubendian Belt participated in amalgamation of Central African Shield as a separated continent surrounding oceanic crusts during Paleoproterozoic Eburnean orogeny and Neoproterozoic Pan-African orogeny.

Gondwana Research, Volume 91, March 2021, Pages 286-306, DOI: 10.1016/
Daniel Pastor-Galán
Daniel Pastor-Galán
Científico Titular and Assistant Professor (助教) of Tectonics

My research interests include plate tectonics, paleogeogrphy and geodynamics.