Southern Africa and its southern continental margin offer an unrivalled region, where continental accretion, continental breakup and magmatic processes over a period of more than 3.5 billion years can be studied. The Agulhas-Karoo Geoscience Transect is part of the South African - German cooperative research project Inkaba yeAfrica, which aims to investigate this part of the continent and ocean in a cone-shaped sector from core to space. Geophysical and geological data and samples were collected along this transect which spans from the Agulhas Plateau across the Agulhas-Falkland fracture zone, the Outeniqua Basin, the Cape Fold Belt, the Namaqua-Natal Belt onto the Karoo Craton. A combined onshore-offshore deep crustal seismic reflection and refraction survey as well as several magnetotelluric surveys provide information about tectonic and magmatic structures and constraints for physical parameters from sedimentary sequences to the upper mantle. The main objectives include an understanding of the crustal nature of the Agulhas Plateau, the processes accompanying and succeeding the crustal shearing process along the Agulhas-Falkland Transform/Fracture Zone, the offshore basin formation in relation to breakup, the deep-seated tectonics of the Cape Fold Belt, and the geometries and sources of the Beattie Magnetic Anomaly and the Southern Cape Conductivity Belt. The geophysical data are integrated with geological, petrological and geochemical analysis on rock composition, age and alteration history to form an overarching geodynamic model of the evolution of this region and its sedimentary, tectonic and magmatic units.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > MAR2-Palaeo Climate Mechanisms and Variability