Evolution and estimated age of the C5 Lukala carbonate-evaporite ramp complex in the Lower Congo region (Democratic Republic of Congo): New perspectives in Central Africa

F. Delpomdor, N. Van Vliet, X. Devleeschouwer, L. Tack, A. Préat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

New detailed lithological, sedimentological, chemostratigraphic data were obtained from exploration drilling samples on the C5 carbonate-dominated formation of the Neoproterozoic Lukala Subgroup (former Schisto-Calcaire Subgroup) from the West Congo Belt (WCB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This formation records the last post-Marinoan sea-level events that occurred in the whole basin, followed by the development of the Araçuaï-West Congo Orogen between 630 and 560 Ma. The C5 Formation consists of back-reef lagoonal and peritidal/sabkha cycles of ∼2.0 m in thickness, that record a short-time marine regression, rapidly flooded by a marine transgression with deposition of organic-rich argillaceous carbonates or shales under dysoxia and anoxia conditions. These dysoxic/anoxic waters were rapidly followed by a regional-scale marine transgression, favouring mixing with well-oxygenated waters, and the development of benthic Tonian to Cambro-Ordovician Obruchevella parva-type ‘seagrasses’ in the nearshore zones of the lagoons. New δ13C and 87Sr/86Sr isotopic data in the C5 Formation of the Lukala Subgroup are used in the frame of a correlation with the Sete Lagoas Formation in Brazil. Relatively comparable negative to positive δ13C excursions point to marine flooding of the whole basin and allow extension of the debatable Late Ediacaran age of the uppermost Sete Lagoas and C5 formations. Sr isotope “blind dating” failed due to low Sr concentration related to a dolomitization event close 540 Ma. Several tentative datings of the C5 Formation converge to a Late Ediacaran age ranging between 575 and 540 Ma. As the overlying Mpioka folded Subgroup, the C5 series suffered the Pan African deformation, dated at 566 ± 42 Ma. Unlike the previously generally accepted interpretation, our data suggests that the Mpioka Subgroup was deposited in the Early Cambrian.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-277
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
Volume137
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • ISGS
  • Ediacaran
  • West Congo supergroup
  • Oxygen and strontium isotopes
  • Geochemistry
  • Facies analysis
  • Carbonates
  • Carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geology

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