Southern Africa and its southern continental margin offer an unrivalled region, where continental accretion processes over a period of more than 3.5 billion years can be studied. Along a geoscientific transect from the offshore Agulhas Plateau across the Agulhas Fracture, the Outeniqua Basin, the Cape Fold Belt, the Namaqua-Natal Belt into the Karoo Province, geophysical and geological data and samples have been collected in order to build a model of the evolution and crustal accretion as well as the continental break-up of this region. With this transect, which is a component of the German - South African project Inkaba ye Africa, objectives are addressed such as the Mesoproterozoic accretion processes along the southern margin of the Kaapvaal Craton, the extent of Pan-African inliers in the Cape Fold Belt, the formation of the Cape Fold Belt, the sources for the Beattie Magnetic Anomaly and the Southern Cape Conductivity Belt, the continental/oceanic origin of the Agulhas Plateau, the formation of the Agulhas Fracture Zone and its consequences for basin formation and uplift processes. A combined land-sea deep crustal seismic reflection and refraction survey as well as a magnetotelluric survey along the transect provides detailed structures and constraints for physical parameters from the upper crust to the upper mantle which will be integrated with geological, petrological and geochemical analysis on rock composition, age and alteration history to form an overarching geodynamic model for the evolution of the region and its tectonic units.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > MAR2-Palaeo Climate Mechanisms and Variability