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A vailable online at www.sciencedirect.com Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 Rodinia descendants in South America

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

A vailable online at www.sciencedirect.com Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 Rodinia descendants in South America

Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 Rodinia descendants in South America Reinhardt A. Fuck a ,

Rodinia descendants in South America

Reinhardt A. Fuck a, , Benjamim Bley Brito Neves b , Carlos Schobbenhaus c

a Instituto de Geociˆencias, Universidade de Bras´ılia, 70910-900 Bras´ılia, Brazil

b Instituto de Geociˆencias, Universidade de Sao˜

Paulo, 05508-080 Sao˜

Paulo, Brazil

c Servi¸co Geologico´

do Brasil-CPRM, 70830-030 Bras´ılia, Brazil

Received 5 December 2006; received in revised form 10 January 2007; accepted 23 April 2007


Geological structures and Precambrian rock units thought to be related to Rodinia Supercontinent evolution were recognized in three main domains of South America: (i) Mesoproterozoic fold belts ca. 1.5–1.1 Ga old and corresponding foreland cover successions and coeval cratonic intrusions exposed in the southwestern portion of the Amazonian Craton make up the most complete and best preserved record of interpreted Rodinia amalgamation in South America. Recently obtained paleomagnetic data place this part of the Amazonian Craton close to the southernmost segment of Laurentia’s Grenville margin. Inferred collision of both continents is reflected in the Nova Brasilandiaˆ and Aguape´ı-Sunsas fold belts, as well as in the Llano Uplift area. (ii) In eastern South America small crustal fragments of inferred Rodinia ascent were variably reworked during Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogenic events, rendering it difficult to recognize and map Meso-Neoproterozoic (Grenvillian) mobile belts. So far, the best candidates to represent possible fragments of such mobile belts were recognized in the Punta del Este, Uruguay, terrain, in the Serra do Itaberaba, Sao˜ Paulo, eastern Brazil area and in the Cariris Velhos, northeastern Brazil area. (iii) The third domain comprises a number of scattered basement exposures within the Andean Cordillera, from Venezuela and Colombia (Guajira, Santa Marta) in the north to northwest Argentina (Pampia, Arequipa-Antofalla) in southern South America. Although deeply reworked and fragmentary in exposure, these basement inliers seem to represent the largest litho-structural record of the Meso-Neoproterozoic orogenic collage in South America, apparently making up the western border of the South American Platform. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: South America; Rodinia; Meso-Neoproterozoic orogenic collage; Neoproterozoic break-up

1. Introduction

There are many problems in recognizing crust fragments which took part in Rodinia Supercontinent amalgamation and, later on, after break-up and dispersal, ended up as part of South America. Two stand out as the most relevant: (i) the identifi- cation of direct descendant segments of Rodinia fragmentation, rearranged within the Gondwana framework and (ii) the iden- tification of Mesoproterozoic mobile belts which took part in the net of orogenic belts that accomplished the amalgamation of Rodinia Supercontinent (Fig. 1). Major exposed blocks of South American shield areas, such as the Amazonian, Sao˜ Francisco, and Rio de la Plata cratons, were recognized early on as possible Rodinia descendants and regarded as such by most authors of Rodinia reconstruction mod-

Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: reinhardt@unb.br (R.A. Fuck), bbleybn@usp.br (B.B. Brito Neves), schobben@df.cprm.gov.br (C. Schobbenhaus).

0301-9268/$ – see front matter © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


els (Hoffman, 1991; Moores, 1991; Unrug, 1996; Dalziel, 1997, 2001). However, a number of smaller continental blocks of dif- ferent geological and geographical origins and environments, like the Sao˜ Lu´ıs and Lu´ıs Alves cratonic fragments, the Rio Apa block, as well as reworked segments, such as Goias,´ Granja and Guanhaes˜ massifs, have not been considered in the classic Rodinia reconstruction models of the last decade. In addition, there are several large crustal blocks hidden beneath large sedimentary basins, like the Paranapanema and Parna´ıba blocks, concealed underneath the Phanerozoic Parana´ and Parna´ıba basins, respectively, which are also absent in all Rodinia reconstructions. Therefore, it is rather difficult or even impossible to reach the goal of a reliable map of Rodinia, if a large number of its descendant fragments are not included in the reconstructions. A major part of Mesoproterozoic mobile belts was deeply regenerated within the Andean Cordillera, either within the Andean zone itself, like the basement windows in the north- ern part of the Andean Chain, or within pre-Andean domains (Aleman and Ramos, 2000; Ramos and Aleman, 2000; Ramos,

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126


Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 109 Fig. 1. Sketch map of Rodinia

Fig. 1. Sketch map of Rodinia in South America. (1) Archean rocks (>2500 Ma); Paleoproterozoic orogenic belts: (2) (2200–2000 Ma), (3) (2000–1800 Ma), (4) (1800–1600 Ma); (5) Passive margin deposits (1100–900 Ma); Intracratonic basin deposits: (6) (1600–1300 Ma), (7) (1300–1100 Ma), 8. (1100–900 Ma); (9) Rift related rocks (900–700); Oceanic arc related rocks: (10) (1600–1300 Ma), (11) (900–700 Ma); (12) Continental arc related rocks (1100–900 Ma); (13) AMCG suite rocks (1600–1300 Ma); (14) High grade metamorphic rocks of uncertain tectonic setting (1300–1100 Ma).

2004, 2005), as, for instance, in the Pampean domain, in central Argentina. Only rather small fractions of Mesoproterozoic belts were preserved within the stable domains of the South Ameri- can Platform, and many of them were partially or even totally reworked within Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogens. Here we present a more complete picture of crustal masses making up South America, which, to the best of our knowledge, and based on available geologic, geophysical, and geochrono- logical data, took part in the amalgamation and demise of Rodinia. In our compilation, the most recent geological maps of South America were used, among others the Geological Map of South America (Schobbenhaus and Bellizzia, 2001), the new 1:2,500,000 geological map of Brazil (Bizzi et al., 2001), and the recently released complete set of 1:1,000,000 geological sheets

of the whole of Brazilian territory (Schobbenhaus et al., 2004), as well as a series of recently published papers in different inter- national and national magazines. Geophysical data provided by

Petrobras, CPRM, and Universidade de Sao˜

Astronomia, Geof´ısica e Cienciasˆ Atmosfericas)´ were also used. Aside from that, many colleagues from Brazil and South Amer- ica helped us out with valuable information and important recent references.

Paulo (Instituto de

2. Descendant blocks of Rodinia break-up and dispersal

Before discussing the case of Rodinia break-up and dispersal, it is useful to recollecting dispersal of Pangea, and the complex geographical and geological picture emerging from the long,


R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

discontinuous and diachronous process of its break-up and dis- persal after the Triassic. A complex framework of continental blocks and fragments of varied size resulted from the pro- cess, including many small pieces, identified as microcontinents, microplates, terranes, etc., which subsequently may have been involved in the development of accretionary and collisional oro- genic belts. Detailed analysis of the history of Western Gondwana also reveals that it comprises a complex arrangement of a great diver- sity of large, intermediate, and small crustal segments, including basement inliers, crust slices, terranes, tectonic highs, etc., in the internal and external zones (cratons, quasi-cratons, massifs, etc.) of the Neoproterozoic Brasiliano and Pan-African fold belts, many of which include descendant fragments from Rodinia. Different assemblages of Neoproterozoic blocks can be put together, such as that of Fig. 2, a cartoon from Almeida et al. (2000) or those from Brito Neves et al. (1999). These car- toons display presumed paleogeographic arrangements before

the Brasiliano orogeny and after amalgamation of Gondwana, respectively. Due to possible omissions and mistakes, these car- toons have to be seen as what they actually are, and not as graphic models. Similarly break-up of Rodinia and dispersal of the resul- tant fragments is translated in large descendants, as well as several of intermediate dimensions, which are in general rec- ognized as such and included in attempted reconstitutions of the former supercontinent. However, there are also a large number of smaller pieces, often forgotten in supercontinent reconstructions, hampering cartographic representation, model elaboration, and the better understanding of geological history. Many times these smaller pieces of former supercontinents are even ignored because they are not known in the international literature. Behavior of the smaller fragments in subsequent Neopro- terozoic and Phanerozoic orogenic events is often inversely proportional to their size, corroborating Coward and Ries’

to their size, corroborating Coward and Ries’ Fig. 2. Cartoon showing Neoproterozoic (post-Tonian,

Fig. 2. Cartoon showing Neoproterozoic (post-Tonian, pre-Ediacaran) paleogeography. Rodinia descendant fragments are indicated, as well as possible ocean domains. (1) Neoproterozoic blocks (plates, microplates, microcontinents, terranes); Brasiliano Neoproterozoic fold belts and rock associations: (2) marginal fold belts QPC; (3) volcano-sedimentary belts, BVAC, greenstone >QPC; (4) ophiolitic remnants; (5) magmatic arcs; (6) covered and unknown areas (from Almeida et al., 2000).

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Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 111 Fig. 3. Tectonic sketch of the

Fig. 3. Tectonic sketch of the Paranapanema Block, basement of the Parana´ Basin, inferred from geophysical surveys and subsurface data: GM, Goias´ mas- sif; SFC, Sao˜ Francisco Craton (from Quintas, 1995; Mantovani and Brito Neves,


(1986) statements on colliding blocks in general. Smaller blocks were more deeply affected and reworked during Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic orogenies. The same is true for most of the crust fragments involved in slightly older thermal events, such as the Grenvillian and Cariris Velhos blocks. They may be thoroughly reworked in younger Neoproterozoic orogenic events due to their relatively hotter state. As a result, the previous geological his- tory of such crustal blocks is frequently hard to be recognized and recovered. Blocks underlying the large Paleozoic basins (e.g., Parana- panema, Fig. 3, Parna´ıba, Fig. 4) have been ignored in all reconstructions of Rodinia. Similarly, crustal blocks more or less deeply reworked during Neoproterozoic orogenies (e.g., Goias´ and Pernambuco-Alagoas massifs, Rio Grande do Norte ter- rane), as well as the regenerated blocks within the Andean Chain (e.g., Arequipa/Antofalla, Pampia) have been left out in practi- cally all reconstitution schemes of Rodinia. However, some of these forgotten blocks are as large and as important as those considered in classic reconstructions. Recent compilations give a good idea of the plurality of these blocks and their importance in fits of the real world, in contrast to the classic reconstitution of Rodinia and Gondwana (Almeida et al., 2000; Brito Neves,


In the case of South America, usually only the Amazonian, Sao˜ Francisco, and Rio de la Plata blocks were recorded in Rodinia fits of the last decade. Paranapanema (Fig. 3), Parna´ıba (Fig. 4), and many other blocks of intermediate and small sizes should be included in future fits, as we have tried to do during our mission along the IGCP 440 project. The same holds true for Africa, where again only the larger blocks have been considered. On the other hand, in most Rodinia reconstructions the blocks were included in schematic fits with their present geographic

included in schematic fits with their present geographic Fig. 4. Tectonic sketch of the Parna´ıba Basin

Fig. 4. Tectonic sketch of the Parna´ıba Basin basement inferred from geo- physical survey (adapted from Nunes, 1993). Legend: (1) Gurupi belt; (2) Araguaia belt; (3) Borborema Province; (4) Granja Massif; (5) Goias´ Massif; (6) Sao˜ Lu´ıs-W Africa Craton; (7) Sao˜ Francisco Craton; (8) Parna´ıba block; (9) Cambro-Ordovician rift structures; (10) Neoproterozoic rift structures (?).

forms, without taking into consideration regenerated portions, accretionary and collisional additions, as well as many kinds of lateral accretion as a whole, resulting from Neoproterozoic or even younger orogenies. An additional problem is the fact that all blocks are considered as simple monolithic entities, with- out taking into account the nature of their crust, their thickness, their thermo-tectonic condition (thermal age) and rheology, the nature of their margins, the part they played during orogeny, etc.

3. Andean basement

A number of windows with basement exposures and base- ment inliers are known for some time within the Andean Cordillera and pre-Andean areas (see Dalla Salda and Dalziel, 1993; Aleman and Ramos, 2000; Ramos and Aleman, 2000; Ramos, 2005 and references therein). Available age determina- tions place them in the late Mesoproterozoic (e.g., Kroonenberg, 1982; Restrepo and Toussaint, 1988). One common feature of these basement exposures is the “Grenville” signature, based on Nd-isotope data (Restrepo-Pace et al., 1997) and Pb-isotope composition (Ruiz et al., 1999). Robust U-Pb age data obtained in recent years support the interpretation that Mesoproterozoic crust forming and high-grade metamorphic events prevailed in these basement remnants (Cordani et al., 2005; Cardona et al., 2006; Jimenez-Mej´ ´ıa et al., 2006; Ordo´nez-Carmona˜ et al., 2006). This fact has been used to support the SWEAT hypothe- sis (Moores, 1991), suggesting that Laurentia was placed to the west of Gondwana until early Phanerozoic times (Moores, 1991; Tosdal, 1996; Ramos and Basei, 1997; Cordani et al., 2005).


R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 Fig. 5. Tectonic setting of the

Fig. 5. Tectonic setting of the Colombian Andes with accreted terranes and windows of basement exposures, most of which with late Mesoproterozoic age indications.

Adapted from Kroonenberg (1982), Restrepo and Toussaint (1988), Aleman and Ramos (2000), Cordani et al. (2005) and Ordo´nez-Carmona˜

et al. (2006).

However, these could be crust fragments of Laurentia affinity, not Laurentia itself, since, in the absence of paleomagnetic data, it is hard to be sure. Plate velocities calculations underline the great difficulty in admitting that Laurentia circumscribed Gond- wana to the west. On the other hand, it has to be stressed that these basement rocks have undergone a complex tectonic history. Displacement rates are generally unknown and they may have been involved in more than one Phanerozoic orogeny (Hercinian, Andean, etc.) and even in pre-Phanerozoic orogenies, like the late Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogeny. In the northernmost Andean Chain around 16 basement exposures are known in the Eastern and Western cordilleras (Kroonenberg, 1982; Restrepo and Toussaint, 1988; Aleman and Ramos, 2000; Ramos and Aleman, 2000; Cordani et al., 2005; Cardona et al., 2006; Jimenez-Mej´ ´ıa et al., 2006; Ordo´nez-˜ Carmona et al., 2006). They appear to the west of 70 W, as well

as to the west of the inferred limit of the Amazonian Craton (Fig. 5). It is believed that the Mesoproterozoic rocks of the

Andaqu´ı terrane remained attached to the Amazonian Craton after the Grenville orogeny, whereas other areas grouped in the Chibcha terrane, although formed during the Grenville orogeny, remained either as part of another continental block or as dis- persed islands amalgamated to the Amazonian Craton during

a Paleozoic orogeny (Ordo´nez-Carmona˜ et al., 2006). In any

event, the picture may have been much more complicated, when

it is recalled that Avalonian blocks that seem to have been part

of South America in Rodinia ended up in eastern North Amer- ica (e.g., Mallard and Rogers, 1997). In our reconstitution these fragments – from the Garzon´ Massif to Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Guajira Peninsula – are interpreted as possible continuation of the Mesoproterozoic domain of the Amazonian Craton (Fig. 1).

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126


In the area of Arequipa-Antofalla, in the central Andes, south of Lima, two groups of reworked basement exposures have been identified (Ramos and Vujovich, 1993; Tosdal, 1996). One of these groups comprises about 15 basement exposures belonging to the Arequipa-Antofalla block, a presumed cra- ton/plate during Neoproterozoic collage (e.g., Arequipa, Belen,´ Choja, Limon Verde, Antofalla, etc., approximately between 15 and 28 S). It is believed that they are part of a larger block, which interacted with the Pampia block in late Neoprotero- zoic, giving birth to the western Pampean belt. Geological and geochronological data (Tosdal, 1996) have confirmed that the Arequipa-Antofalla block is a fragment of a Mesoproterozoic Grenvillian orogenic belt, whose interaction with the Pampia craton during the Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogeny led to the western Pampean belt, and with the South American platform

during the Hercinian orogeny gave birth to the Famatinian belt. Recent work defined three crustal domains in the Arequipa- Antofalla basement (Loewy et al., 2004): the northern domain contains juvenile Paleoproterozoic intrusions metamorphosed at 1.82–1.79 Ga; the central domain contains a Mesoprotero- zoic juvenile component, incorporating crust from the northern domain, and both domains were metamorphosed between 1.2 and 0.94 Ga; the southern domain comprises Ordovician rocks. According to Loewy et al. (2004), Arequipa-Antofalla accreted onto Amazonia during the 1.0 Sunsas´ Orogeny (Fig. 6). The other group of basement exposures refers to the Pampia Craton (Fig. 6), proposed by Ramos and Vujovich (1993). It is interpreted as the remnant of a Neoproterozoic plate, placed between Arequipa-Antofalla and Rio de la Plata cratons, and separated from the Amazonian Craton by the inferred Sucre

separated from the Amazonian Craton by the inferred Sucre Fig. 6. Sketch map of northern Argentina

Fig. 6. Sketch map of northern Argentina and of neighboring countries displaying Proterozoic cratons, and Neoproterozoic mobile belts that resulted from their interaction (adapted from Ramos and Vujovich, 1993).


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triple junction (Ramos and Vujovich, 1993). Existence of the Pampia block is well constrained by geological data from the western and eastern Pampean belts, the latter represented by the Neoproterozoic Cordoba magmatic arc. New geological and geochronological data (Ramos and Basei, 1997) suggest that Pampia comprises an assemblage of juvenile island arc materi- als, supporting the hypothesis that it is an important late Meso- proterozoic fragment, and probably was part of the Grenvillian orogenic amalgamation. Its collision with the Rio de la Plata Cra- ton is constrained to ca. 530 Ma (Leal et al., 2003). Largely cov- ered by Phanerozoic deposits, the Pampia block was generally ignored in all Rodinia reconstructions up to the present (Fig. 6).

4. The western domain of Amazonia

In northern South America, a supposed continuation of Lau- rentia, appears the best geologic and geochronologic record of what is believed to be the result of Rodinia amalgamation of possible remnants from the break up of a previous super- continent (Nena, Gower, 1992; Columbia, Rogers and Santosh, 2002). Resultant structures are well exposed in the southwestern part of the Amazonian Craton, in Rondonia and Mato Grosso, Brazil, and in Bolivia. The Amazonian Craton displays a notori-

ous chelogenic disposition, building up from the seed Archean core, the Central Amazonia Province. To the northeast it is surrounded by the Paleoproterozoic Transamazonian Maroni- Itacaiunas Province. To the southwest, the Archean core is limited by the ca. 1.85–2.0 Ga Ventuari-Tapajos Province, which farther SW is followed by the ca. 1.55–1.8 Ga Rio Negro-Juruena Province (Tassinari and Macambira, 1999, 2004; Tassinari et al., 2000). Younger Mesoproterozoic additions (Fig. 7), recording several orogenic events, occur to the southwest (Rizzotto, 1999; Scandolara et al., 1999; Santos et al., 2000; Geraldes et al., 2001; Payolla et al., 2002):


Cachoeirinha accretionary event 1.5–1.55 Ga;


Santa Helena accretionary event 1.42–1.45 Ga;


Rondonia and San Ignacio collisional event 1.3–1.35 Ga;


Nova Brasilandiaˆ and Sunsas´ accretionary and collisional events 1.0–1.1 Ga.

It is worth recalling that similar events and ages are well known from North America, reinforcing the notion of a previ- ous Laurentia-Amazonia link, as conveyed in a recent correlation exercise by Van Schmus (2001). Another important feature in southwestern Amazonia is the presence of post-Rodinia sed-

southwestern Amazonia is the presence of post-Rodinia sed- Fig. 7. Geologic map of the SW part

Fig. 7. Geologic map of the SW part of the Amazonian Craton. (1) Cenozoic cover; (2) Paleo-Mesozoic cover; (3) Neoproterozoic fold belt; (4) Meso-Neoproterozoic basins (1.0–0.97 Ga); (5) Rondonia (Younger Granites), Costa Marques and Guape´ granite suites (1.0–0.91 Ga); (6) Santa Clara and Rio Pardo granite suites (1.08–1.0 Ga): (7) Nova Floresta basalt and gabbro (1.2 Ga); (8) Aguape´ı/Sunsas groups; (9) Nova Brasilandiaˆ belt; (10) Santa Helena granitoid suite (1.42–1.48 Ga); (11) Cachoeirinha granitoid suite (1.58–1.52 Ga); (12) undifferentiated granite suites and basement units (1.8–1.3 Ga). Modified from Geraldes et al. (2001), Bizzi et al. (2001), Tohver et al. (2002), Rizzotto et al. (2004a,b), Boger et al. (2005). Provinces sketchmap after Tassinari and Macambira (1999). A: Ariquemes; J: Jauru; GM: Guajara´ Mirim.

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126


imentary covers, the so-called Palmeiral stage (Brito Neves, 2002; Tohver et al., 2002). These covers appear to have been laid down in a large basin at the end of the Mesoproterozoic, following the Nova Brasilandiaˆ accretion and collision event (Rizzotto, 1999). They have been disrupted subsequently, dur- ing Tonian taphrogenesis. Resultant graben, e.g. Sao˜ Lourenc¸o, Pacaas´ Novos, Uopiones, etc., are witness to the ensuing conti- nental break-up process, associated with intraplate anorogenic granite magmatism (e.g., Santa Clara and Costa Marques granite suites, Rondonia Younger Granites), which mark the transition from Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic times. In other words, besides being the most complete geological record of Rodinia agglutination in South America, the western domain of the Ama- zonian Craton displays also the best record of its break-up (Brito Neves, 2002).

5. Central and Eastern Brazil

Geological records of Mesoproterozoic age in central Brazil are scarce. Earlier assumptions of a Mesoproterozoic orogenic event, the Uruac¸uano orogeny (Almeida et al., 1976, 1981),

based mainly on poorly constrained Rb–Sr isotopic data, were

proved wrong. Available data indicate that the western bor- der of the Sao˜ Francisco Craton was a passive margin, facing

a large ocean basin in early Neoproterozoic times. The origi-

nal sedimentary pile is now part of the Bras´ılia Belt, formed during the Late Neoproterozoic Brasiliano collage. Opening of the former basin is not well constrained, but its closure was

under way ca. 900 Ma (Pimentel and Fuck, 1992a,b; Pimentel et al., 2000). The core of the Bras´ılia Belt includes an appar- ently allochtonous older crust fragment, the Goias´ Massif, of unknown provenance. It comprises Archean granite-greenstone terrains in the south and Paleoproterozoic orthogneiss basement

in the north, covered by folded younger Proterozoic supracrustal

rocks (Fig. 8). The eastern margin of the Goias´ massif is marked by large mafic-ultramafic layered complexes and associated volcanic-sedimentary sequences. Detailed geologic, geochemi- cal, and isotopic data have shown that the upper layered series of the layered complexes of Cana Brava, Niquelandia,ˆ and Barro Alto, and volcanic-sedimentary sequences of Palmeiropolis,´ Indaianopolis,´ and Juscelandia,ˆ dated at 1250–1280 Ma, are the product of continental rifting processes that transition to open-

of continental rifting processes that transition to open- Fig. 8. Geologic sketch map of the Bras´ılia

Fig. 8. Geologic sketch map of the Bras´ılia belt related units after Pimentel et al. (2000).


R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

ing of ocean basins (Moraes et al., 2003, 2006; Pimentel et al., 2003, 2004). Break-up events at ca. 800 Ma are also recorded in this area, represented by the lower layered series of Cana Brava, Niquelandiaˆ and Barro Alto complexes (Pimentel et al., 2004). Within the Sao˜ Francisco Craton (Fig. 9) Mesoproterozoic events are poorly known, mainly because reliable age determina- tions are lacking. Infilling of the precursor basin of the Espinhac¸o range started around 1750 Ma (Schobbenhaus et al., 1996), but later developments are poorly constrained. Despite the presence of intrusive and volcanic rocks within the Espinhac¸o Super- group sedimentary pile, reliable ages are scarce (Brito Neves and Alckmim, 1993). The Brotas de Macaubas´ gabbro sill within the Mangabeira Formation, Paraguac¸u Group, was dated at ca. 1500 Ma (Babinski et al., 1999). Rb–Sr age determination of phl- ogopite from kimberlite intruded at the base of the Tombador

Formation, Chapada Diamantina Group, sets a maximum age of ca. 1150 Ma (Pereira and Fuck, 2005) for the deposition of this formation. Closing of the basin infilling between 1200 and 1100 Ma is based on poorly constrained Rb–Sr age determina- tions (Babinski et al., 1999). Folding of the Espinhac¸o Supergroup before the Neoprotero- zoic Brasiliano orogeny is controversial (Brito Neves, 2003). However, the foreland fold-and-thrust belt recorded in Ireceˆ basin (Fig. 9) in the central-northern part of the Sao˜ Francisco Craton is characterized by E–W structures, approximately at right angles with NNW-SSE folding observed in the underlying Espinhac¸o strata, suggesting a unconformity (Romeiro Cesar and Zalan,´ 2005). Unconformity relations are less clear within the Espinhac¸o range in Minas Gerais. Mafic intrusions, which cut through the Espinhac¸o Supergroup, but not the overlying

through the Espinhac¸o Supergroup, but not the overlying Fig. 9. Intracratonic basin related units of the

Fig. 9. Intracratonic basin related units of the Chapada Diamantina plateau, E Brazil: (1) Neogene sediments; (2) Cryogenian Una Gr./carbonate rocks, pelite, diamictite; (3) Probably Stenian (1.2–1.1 Ga) Chapada Diamantina Gr./diamond bearing conglomerate, quartzite, pelite; (4) Kimberlite (1.15 Ga); (5) Basic intrusive (1.5 Ga); (6) Espinhac¸o Supergr./Paraguac¸u Gr./conglomerate, quartzite, pelite; (7) Espinhac¸o Supergr./Rio dos Remedios´ Gr./felsic volcanics, quartzite (1.75 Ga); (8) Basement rocks (>1.8 Ga); (9) Thrust fault. Adapted from Schobbenhaus (1993); kimberlite age from Pereira and Fuck (2005). BM: Brotas de Macaubas,´ RC: Rio de Contas.

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Neoproterozoic Jequita´ı glacial deposits and Bambui Group carbonates, were dated at ca. 900 Ma (Machado et al., 1989), indicating a ca. 200 Ma gap between both sequences. However, in this area all structures became parallel during the Brasiliano orogeny, and the suggestion of a previous Espinhac¸o defor- mation and its origin became the core of much debate and controversy.

6. Meso-Neoproterozoic events recorded in the basement of the Brasiliano collage

The South American platform is the product of the Neopro- terozoic Brasiliano collage (Brito Neves and Cordani, 1991; Almeida et al., 2000). Apart from very few exceptions, base- ment rocks of the Brasiliano mobile belts were deeply reworked during Neoproterozoic folding, metamorphism, melting and magmatism events. Because of this, the South American plat- form has been divided schematically in two major domains: the Brasiliano domain includes the central and central-eastern parts of the platform, whereas the pre-Brasiliano domain comprises the northwestern (Amazonian craton) portion of the platform (Brito Neves, 1991). This explains why Mesoproterozoic rock units and structures are well preserved in Bolivia, Rondonia and Mato Grosso, whereas they are hard to find and to charac- terize within the Brasiliano domain, where reworking occurred frequently deep within the crust. The largest reworked Mesopro- terozoic remnants were found in the Borborema Province, and in the Mantiqueira Province, mainly in the Ribeira river valley and in Uruguay. We suggest that these findings do not repre- sent everything there is. Bearing in mind that Mesoproterozoic remnants have younger thermal ages, therefore being prone to regeneration during the following Brasiliano collage, according to the Coward and Ries (1986) statement, other Mesoprotero- zoic rock units were not detected up to now probably due to their regeneration.

6.1. Borborema province–Cariris Velhos orogeny

The Borborema Province, in the northeast of South Amer- ica, is a typical branched system of orogens of the ca. 600 Ma Brasiliano (Pan African) collage. Related deformation, meta- morphism, melting, and especially the widespread granite plutonism, are factors for obscuring previous Meso- and Neo- proterozoic events. The basement of the province is the product of three major Paleoproterozoic orogenic events, which took place at ca. 2.35, 2.15, and 2.0 Ga (Fetter et al., 2000; Brito Neves et al., 2000). These events are accounted as part of the Paleoproterozoic collage, which admittedly led to the hypothetical Atlantica Supercontinent (Rogers, 1996), or the more recently proposed Columbia Supercontinent (Rogers and Santosh, 2002, 2004). Incipient break-up and formation of extensional basins occurred subsequently during the Statherian, between 1.8 and 1.6 Ga, like the precursor basin of the Oros-Jaguaribe´ belt (Brito Neves et al., 1995a,b). Evidence for extension and fragmentation of the basement, leading to the formation of different crust segments, is recorded in the central part of the Borborema Province, within the so called Transversal Domain, limited to the north by the Patos lineament, and to the south by the Pernambuco lineament. The northern crust segment (Rio Grande do Norte terrane) and the southern segment (Sao˜ Francisco Craton) have preserved most of their Paleoproterozoic framework (Brito Neves, 2005). In the intermediate central domain or transversal zone, between two major lineaments, important continental and oceanic volcanic- sedimentary basins were developed during the Mesoproterozoic. An apparently complete Wilson cycle was developed in the area, ending with ocean closure ca. 0.97 Ga, during the Cariris Velho orogeny (Brito Neves et al., 2000, 2005). These rocks were com- pletely reset and intruded by numerous granite bodies during the Brasiliano collage. The Cariris Velhos orogenic system is

Brasiliano collage. The Cariris Velhos orogenic system is Fig. 10. Transversal Domain of central Borborema Province

Fig. 10. Transversal Domain of central Borborema Province singling out the Alto Pajeu´ Terrane and Cariris Velhos Ortogneiss in NE Brazil. Terranes: RGN, Rio Grande do Norte: SJC, Sao˜ Jose´ Caiano; PB, Pianco-Alto´ Br´ıgida; RG, Riacho Gravata;´ AP, Alto Pajeu;´ AM, Alto Moxoto;´ RC, Rio Capibaribe; PEAL, Pernambuco-Alagoas (Brito Neves et al., 2000).


R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

presently represented by a ca. 800 km long, WSW-ENE trending, linear belt, marked by hundreds of granite intrusions of different size and shape (Fig. 10). In this belt, exposed diagonally across the Transversal Domain, late Mesoproterozoic-early Neopro- terozoic arc-related granites intrude Paleoproterozoic basement, as well as late Mesoproterozoic metavolcanic and metasedimen- tary rocks of the Alto Pajeu´ and Riacho Gravata´ terranes (Santos et al., 1997a,b). Alto Pajeu´ is mainly made of orthogneiss and migmatized schist and paragneiss, representing metagreywacke and associated felsic and intermediate metavolcanic rocks. Ria- cho Gravata´ comprises mainly felsic metavolcanics (60% or more) associated to psamitic and pelitic metasedimentary rocks, as well as mafic volcanics and occasional ultramafic rocks (Santos et al., 1997a,b; Brito Neves et al., 2000, 2005). South- eastwards from the Alto Pajeu´ is a Paleoproterozoic remnant hundreds of kilometers long (>20,000 km 2 ), the Alto Moxoto´ terrane, comprising Paleoproterozoic orthogneiss and alumi- nous metapelite, deeply reworked and restructured during the Brasiliano collage, with a few late Neoproterozoic granite intru- sions. Similar large blocks as yet not recognized, reset and reworked during the Neoproterozoic orogeny, are probably present within the Brasiliano collage. A very complex crustal fragment, the Pernambuco-Alagoas massif, is exposed southwards of the Pernambuco lineament. It comprises at least two Archean nuclei, surrounded by fragments of Paleoproterozoic belts and remnants of late Mesoproterozoic- early Neoproterozoic orthogneiss (Brito Neves et al., 2000; Silva Filho et al., 2002). Tens of large granite batholiths intrude the orthogneiss complexes. A few are of Mesoproterozoic age, but most are Neoproterozoic in age, including a few arc-related intrusions to the south and southeast of the Pernambuco-Alagoas massif. Late Mesoproterozoic-early Neoproterozoic metamorphosed supracrustal sequences and granite intrusions are exposed also within the Brasiliano Riacho do Pontal Belt bordering the Sao˜ Francisco Craton westward of the Pernambuco-Alagoas massif.

6.2. Mantiqueira Province

The Mantiqueira Province is a complex Brasiliano orogenic system, extending from southern Bahia, east Brazil to southern Uruguay. The northernmost part of the province is made of the Arac¸ua´ı Belt, developed at the margin of the Sao˜ Francisco Cra- ton. Reworked Archean terrains of the Gouveia and Guanhaes˜ blocks appear to be fragments of the nearby Sao˜ Francisco Cra- ton (Pedrosa Soares and Wiedemann-Leonardos, 2000; Heilbron et al., 2004). Adjacent reworked Paleoproterozoic orthogneiss (Porteirinha and Mantiqueira complexes) and granulite (Juiz de Fora Complex) have been interpreted as possible fragments of a large Paleoproterozoic belt, partially preserved within the Sao˜ Francisco Craton in Bahia and Minas Gerais. Further south, close to the city of Sao˜ Paulo, metamorphosed andesite from the Serra do Itaberaba Group (Fig. 11) within the Ribeira Belt has been dated at 1395 ± 10 Ma (U-Pb zircon, Juliani et al., 2000). The basal part of this group comprises MORB-type mafic metavolcanic rocks, including pillowed basalts, hyaloclastite, volcaniclastic rocks, rhyolite, andesite,

tuff, metapelite, and banded iron formation. Widespread pre- metamorphic hydrothermal alteration has been recorded (Juliani et al., 2000). The upper units of the sequence include Mn- and Fe- rich metapelite, carbonate rocks, tuff, felsic volcanics, capped by a large unit of quartzite and arkose. The sequence is interpreted as having been laid down in an ocean basin environment, ini-

tially related to a mid-ocean ridge, with the later units associated with ocean closure. Southwards the Neoproterozoic Ribeira Belt includes other stratigraphic units which also contain mafic rocks of Mesopro- terozoic age (Fig. 11). Mafic volcanic rocks, dikes and sills


within the Agua Clara and Votuverava formations and the Perau Complex have ca. 1.48 Ga U-Pb zircon ages (Weber et al., 2004; Basei et al., submitted). According to the authors, these rocks display T-MORB geochemical signature and were formed in extensional environments. To the south the Mesoproterozoic units are abutted against the Curitiba Massif (Fig. 11), which comprises ca. 2.1 Ga migmatized orthogneiss and amphibolite intruded by ca. 1.8 Ga igneous rocks deeply reworked during the Brasiliano collage, especially along the Lancinha fault zone (Basei et al., 2000). The Curitiba Massif served as continental margin for the Ribeira Belt and acted as a microplate. South- wards it is separated by the Pien magmatic arc from the Lu´ıs Alves Craton (Fig. 11), another Brasiliano microplate, which is underlain by mostly Archean orthogneiss protoliths with a few mafic and ultramaphic layered bodies, overprinted by ca. 2.3 and 2.1 Ga granulite facies metamorphism. Although affected by late Neoproterozoic tectonics and intruded by a number of late- to post-tectonic granites, Lu´ıs Alves has not lost its cratonic character, as was the case of the Curitiba Massif. Eastwards, Lu´ıs Alves is bordered by Neoproterozoic magmatic arc granitoids, and to the south it served as basement for the Itaja´ı foreland basin, related to the evolution of the Brasiliano Dom Feliciano fold belt. To the west it disappears below the Phanerozoic Parana´ Basin (Fig. 11).

The ca. 300,000 km 2 Paranapanema block (Fig. 3) is also hid- den below the Parana´ basin. Its size and form have been inferred from gravimetric data (Mantovani and Brito Neves, 2005), which also indicate that it is separated from the Rio de la Plata and Lu´ıs Alves cratons. To the west it appears to be limited by the southwards continuation of the Goias´ Magmatic Arc, whereas, its northeastern border is marked by arc rocks which make up the late Neoproterozoic Socorro-Guaxupe´ high-grade nappe. To the east it bears features of an Atlantic-type continental margin partially preserved in the Brasiliano Ribeira fold belt. Judging from scarce isotopic data of drill-core samples (Cordani et al., 1984) and T DM model ages from Cretaceous flood basalts of the Parana´ basin (Mantovani and Brito Neves, 2005), the Parana´ block basement is Paleoproterozoic in age. The Rio de la Plata Craton (Almeida et al., 1973; Dalla Salda et al., 1988; Basei et al., 2000; Cingolani and Dalla Salda, 2000) is mostly covered by Phanerozoic deposits. Main basement exposures are in Uruguay, with minor ones in Argentina and south Brazil. The core of the craton is represented by the Piedra Alta terrane, Uruguay (Fig. 12), which comprises juvenile Pale- oproterozoic orthogneiss associated with three Paleoproterozoic E-W-trending supracrustal belts. The basement is intruded by a

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126


Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 119 Fig. 11. Geologic map showing distribution

Fig. 11. Geologic map showing distribution of Mesoproterozoic and other units within the Ribeira belt in SE Brazil (adapted from Juliani et al., 2000; Perrotta et al.,


undeformed mafic dyke swarm ca. 1.78 Ga old. The Sarandy del Y shear zone separates these rocks from the adjoining Nico Perez block (Fig. 12), which comprises remnants of Archean granite- greenstone terrain (Hartmann et al., 2001), Paleoproterozoic orthogneiss and supracrustal volcano-sedimentary sequences, intruded by the 1.76 Ga Illescas rapakivi granite. Ca. 1250 Ma K–Ar muscovite age from mylonite suggests Mesoprotero- zoic thermal-tectonic events (Basei et al., 2000 and references therein). Middle to late Neoproterozoic granite intrusions, as well as young K–Ar and Rb–Sr age determinations are evi- dence of strong reworking during the Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogeny. Further north, the Ibare´ shear zone separates the juve- nile Neoproterozoic Sao˜ Gabriel block from the Taquarembo,´ Brazil and Rivera, Uruguay blocks. In the latter blocks, Pale- oproterozoic granulite facies rocks are exposed, containing Archean protoliths, which give place southwards to amphibo- lite facies orthogneiss and supracrustal sequences. Brasiliano orogeny-related reworking is indicated by sedimentary cover, felsic volcanics and a number of Neoproterozoic to Cambrian granite intrusions. Paleoproterozoic orthogneiss, occasionally associated with metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks, is also exposed in the Martin Garc´ıa Island and in the Sierra Tandilia,

Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (Cingolani and Dalla Salda, 2000). They are covered by Neoproterozoic and Ordovician plat- form sequences. Southwards the Precambrian rocks are limited against the Paleozoic Sierra de la Ventana fold-and-thrust belt. The basement of the Rojas belt in eastern Uruguay is called Punta del Este terrane (Fig. 12, Preciozzi et al., 1999; Basei et al., 2000). It comprises high-grade tonalite gneiss and migmatite formed between 0.9 and 1.0 Ga, suggesting that it is related with the Namaqua belt of southwest Africa (Preciozzi et al., 1999). Enclaves of mafic and ultramafic rocks and garnet-sillimanite- cordierite-bearing gneiss have been found within the orthogneiss and migmatite terrain, which is intruded by late Neoproterozoic isotropic granites. Westwards the Punta del Este terrane is over- thrusted by the Neoproterozoic Aigua´ batholith (Fig. 12), which is part of the magmatic arc of the Neoproterozoic Dom Feliciano Fold Belt (Basei et al., 2000). Mesoproterozoic crust underlies the Malvinas-Falkland Islands, which are a small, emergent part of a fragment of con- tinental crust known as the Falkland Microplate (Fig. 1). It is divided in two parts by the Falkland Sound fault. The crys- talline basement of the microplate, unconformably overlain by Phanerozoic deposits, is only exposed on land at Cape Meredith,


R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126 Fig. 12. Sketch map showing relationship

Fig. 12. Sketch map showing relationship of tectonic units of Uruguay and southern Brazil: (1) Phanerozoic cover; (2) Neoproterozoic isotropic granites; (3) Dom Feliciano Belt (A, Aigua´ batholith); (4) 1.78 Ga mafic dikes; (5) Shist belt and intrusive granites (Lavalleja Group); (6) Piedra Alta Terrane (PA) and Nico Perez Block (NP); (7) Punta del Este Terrane (PET) (1.0–0.9 Ga): Mesoproterozoic basement covered by low-grade supracrustal rocks of Rocha Group; (8) shear fault; (9) thrust fault (adapted from Preciozzi et al., 1999; Basei et al., 2000).

West Falkland. It comprises a sequence of layered, amphibo- lite facies felsic and intermediate gneisses and amphibolite, rare calc-silicate rock and schlieren of sillimanite-garnet-biotite gneiss, interpreted as representing a volcanic pile of calc- alkaline affinity (Thomas et al., 1997). U-Pb SHRIMP zircon age of 1118 ± 8 Ma is interpreted as age of extrusion of rhyolite protolith of felsic gneiss (Jacobs et al., 1999). Intrusive gran- odiorite gneiss was dated at ca. 1090 Ma, syntectonic granite gneiss at ca. 1070 Ma, and post-tectonic granite at ca. 1000 Ma (Jacobs et al., 1999). Syn- to post-tectonic granitoid intrusions are comparable in age to similar rocks from the Natal Metamor- phic Province, SE Africa and West Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica (Jacobs et al., 1999).

7. Dispersal of Rodinia

Evidence of rifting, break-up and drifting in the several descendant blocks of Rodinia in South America is scarce and controversial. However, from available data we do know that break-up was diachronous, occurring at different time inter- vals in different blocks. The same is true for dispersal and later collage. There does not seem to be a magical age number for break-up and dispersal (Fig. 1). In southwestern Amazonia there is evidence of rifting, mafic and alkaline magmatism, anorogenic granite intrusions, and basin subdivision, indicating break-up and dispersion since

ca. 1000 Ma, soon after closing of the late Mesoproterozoic Nova Brasilandiaˆ orogeny. However, the main rifting episode, recorded in the Puncoviscana and Tucavaca belts, is much younger, having been constrained to the end of the Neoprotero- zoic (see Ramos, 2000; Baldo et al., 2006). Along the coast of Bahia, at the eastern edge of the Sao˜ Fran- cisco Craton, mafic dyke swarms from Salvador to Ilheus´ seem to be the result of a mantle plume active ca. 1.0 Ga, leading to break-up (Correa Gomes et al., 1996). In the southern Espinhac¸o range the Pedro Lessa mafic mag- matism, represented by dykes and sills, cuts through Espinhac¸o Supergroup sedimentary formations, but not through Neopro- terozoic diamictite and carbonate deposits of the Bambu´ı Group. Badelleyte U-Pb age of ca. 906 Ma was obtained in one of these intrusions (Machado et al., 1989). Similar fissural tholeiitic mag- matism is also recorded in northern Minas Gerais and Bahia, but there are no reliable age determinations available. At the western border of the Sao˜ Francisco Craton there is stratigraphic record of a continental passive margin (Fuck et al., 1993a,b, 1994; Dardenne, 2000; Pimentel et al., 2001; Valeriano et al., 2004) of uncertain age, probably younger than 1.0 Ga. This is clear indication that the former Sao˜ Francisco paleo- continent or peninsula had been rifted apart and separated from some other, as yet unknown, continental mass and was facing a large ocean basin to the (present) west. Age data of detrital zircon grains from samples of several units from the southern part of the

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126


Neoproterozoic Bras´ılia Belt give a maximum age of ca. 980 Ma for sedimentation at this margin (Valeriano et al., 2004). Further west, subduction of oceanic lithosphere of this large ocean basin was underway at ca. 900 Ma, which is the age of the oldest island arc rocks dated so far in the Goias´ Magmatic Arc (Pimentel and Fuck, 1992a,b; Pimentel et al., 2000, 2004; Laux et al., 2005). Within the Borborema Province (Medio´ Coreau´ and Cen- tral Ceara´ domains), in eastern Minas Gerais, and in northwest Argentina (Puncoviscana domain), as well as in several other areas, there is record of break-up and separation of continental masses diachronically between 810 and 750 Ma. On the other hand, in the Serido´ and Riacho do Pontal fold belts, Borborema Province, and in Mato Grosso (Puga Formation) there is evi- dence of later break-up events, which took place between 650 and 630 Ma, probably only then completing dispersal of con- tinental blocks formerly belonging to Rodinia. Concurrently, rather well constrained orogenic events were taking place in other parts of South America at 900–850 Ma, 790–750 Ma, 650–630 Ma, 600–580 Ma, and ca. 520 Ma (Brito Neves et al., 1999; Pimentel et al., 2000, 2004; Pedrosa Soares et al., 2000; Heilbron et al., 2004). These events represent orogenic peaks and are well recorded in the evolution of Neoproterozoic structural provinces in South America. However, their beginnings are not well constrained, and therefore it is not possible as yet to ratify a limiting age for Rodinia. On the other hand, a unique age for the break-up of Rodinia does not seem to be the case, since it appears to have been developed diachronically, as was also the case of its assembling. As knowledge of the late Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic Brasiliano orogenic systems in South America increases, more evident becomes the diachronic and long-living character of amalgamation of Rodinia Supercontinent, as well as of its break-up and subsequent dispersal of resulting conti- nental masses. The same insight comes from better known areas in other continents, like Australia (Myers et al., 1995), eastern Grenville in North America, where the process lasted from ca. 1230 to 955 Ma (Gower, 2001), and the Moc¸ambique Belt in eastern Africa (900–550 Ma, Stern, 1994). From available data, it appears that amalgamation processes are rather long, having taken for instance ca. 350 Ma or more to be completed in the case of Gondwana. The same appears to be true for break-up and dispersal in the case of Rodinia. Moreover, both processes overlap in time. Therefore, concurring events of amalgamation of one supercontinent and dispersal of the other were taking place in the same time span in different parts of what is now South America. Diachronism appears to be more the rule than the exception, in agreement with the dynamics of our planet. In spite of scarcity of data, diachronism and overlapping of Rodinia break-up and amalgamation of Gondwana was also the case of South America.

8. The quest of paleomagnetic data

Insufficiency of paleomagnetic data for the Proterozoic, in terms of their number, quality, and distribution in time and space (Meert, 2001), has allowed a large degree of freedom for supercontinent reconstitution, leading to the many existing dis- agreements. According to recent reviews (D’Agrella Filho et al.,

1998, 2001), best data sets refer to Laurentia, with reliable appar- ent polar wander path (APW) known for the period between 830 and 500 Ma, and East Gondwana, mainly Australia, where APW is well known for the period between 770 and 550 Ma. Even so, distribution is not uniform in space and time, and precision is not as one would like it to be. Consequently, reconstitution of the Australia–East Antarctica–Laurentia connection during Rodinia time resulted in three different formulations, namely SWEAT (Moores, 1991), AUSWUS (Brookfield, 1993), and AUSMEX (Wingate et al., 2001). Although all these proposed fits were based on coherent geologic and geochronologic data sets, paleomagnetic data are still unable to discriminate the ideal alternative. The paleomagnetic data set for Western Gondwana is gener- ally of poor quality and distribution (D’Agrella Filho et al., 1998, 2001; Meert, 2001). Paleomagnetic poles are of low ranking, according to international convention, hampering their adequate use and inequivocal interpretation. Also useful data for large time intervals of important geotectonic units are lacking. Obtain- ing paleomagnetic poles older than 600 Ma has been difficult, due to activation and regeneration processes during Brasiliano orogeny, leading to resetting of paleomagnetic and isotopic data of both basement and Proterozoic cover. Among others, this is the case of the Neoproterozoic Bambu´ı Group covering the Sao˜ Francisco Craton, where inferred fluid circulation at the end of the Neoproterozoic lead to important resetting (Trindade et al.,


Available data sets for Congo, Sao˜ Francisco, and Rio de la Plata blocks are hampered by varied problems, not least of which are the poor age constraints. There are no reliable paleomagnetic data for the Amazonian Craton between 800 and 600 Ma. Dis- cussion and interpretation rely on the supposed connection with Laurentia, whose APW is rather well constrained for that time interval. Position of Congo and Kalahari blocks is generally uncertain. At least four different positions have been suggested in the last years (Powell et al., 2001).

9. Reworking imposed on Rodinia descendants

The so-called Brasiliano provinces display a very complex scenario of tectonic setting and paleogeography. Defined 25 years ago (Almeida et al., 1981), they need conceptual revision, and their connections in South America and Africa (Almeida et al., 2000) need to be reassessed. The possibility of natural divisions is recognized in most of them, adequate both in terms of increasing knowledge and diversity of geographic and tec- tonic paleoenvironments. Geochronologic data tell us of many orogenic events, going back to ca. 900 Ma, in parallel with Rodinia break-up events, and lasting well into the Cambrian, until ca. 520–490 Ma, when post-orogenic extension processes were occurring in many parts of South America (Brito Neves et al., 1999; Ramos, 2000). Definition of a formal succession of common orogenic events in each province bears many problems. Available data show that there is great diversity in space and time, starting with formation of precursor basins and subsequent interaction of lithosphere plates in each province. In the same way as there are problems


R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126

Table 1 Saga of Rodinia descendants in the building up of West Gondwana


Cratons, blocks, terranes


Deformation, reworking

Additional aspects


Amazonian, Sao˜

Lu´ıs-West Africa,

Segments/descendants with maximum preserved integrity

Minimum territorial losses by “regeneration” near surrounding Brasiliano Belts. Mafic dike swarms Substantial territorial losses. Reworking of marginal and even interior portions of the original block. Original shapes and dimensions of the continental blocks difficult to reconstitute Mostly Paleoproterozoic terranes with Archean seed-nuclei. Important structural episodes and granitic plutonism The smaller blocks seldom behave as allochthonous terranes Paleoproterozoic terranes (minor Archean seed-nuclei) exhibiting Brasiliano structural trends Preponderant thermal, tectonic and magmatic Brasiliano processes Infra-structure of the Brasiliano fold belts cropping out, by local tectonic and erosional contingencies. Original segments of Paleoproterozoic Belts (minor Archean nuclei) may occur Preponderant Brasiliano overprint, only local exhibition of the original structures




Francisco-Congo, Rio de la Plata,

Segments with preserved important litho-structural integrity. Some territorial losses

Paranapanema, Rio Apa



Rio Grande do Norte (+ Central Hoggar),

Blocks/areas entirely reworked during the Brasiliano collage. Strong but partial ductile deformational processes


a,´ Goias´

Massif, Lu´ıs Alves


Sobradinho, Guanhaes,˜


Blocks/areas strongly reworked. Advanced ductile deformational processes

Pernambuco-Alagoas, Alto Moxoto´


Gouveia, Juiz de Fora, Quirino-Dorania,ˆ Aurizona/Ticunzal

Blocks/areas with complete ductile deformation


Espinhac¸o Belt, Serra do


Mesoproterozoic-Early Neoproterozoic




Itaberaba/ Aguas Claras, Punta del Leste

belts reworked during the Brasiliano collage Paleoproterozoic and early Mesoproterozoic belts reworked during the Hercynian and Andean orogenies


Garzon-Santa´ Marta,


Brasiliano reworking could exist. The Phanerozoic deformational processes are dominant

Arequipa-Antofalla, Terreno

Occidentalia (Belem,´

Choja, Pie de Palo,

L. Verde, etc.), Pampia Abundant occurrences within the basement of the Brasiliano Provinces

Litho-structural features and isotopic signatures of pre-Neoproterozoic terranes

Multiple and complex deep crustal reworking (structural, thermal and magmatic)

in stipulating a precise age of Rodinia break-up, we have to rec- ognize that problems of the same order will be met in gradual assembly of Gondwana. As already observed above, it is not easy to understanding the crust levels of reworking to which Rodinia descendants were submitted. Comparison is risky due to het- erogeneity of knowledge, but it will be done, at least to boast debate and stimulate improved formulations in the future. The discrimination list (Table 1) follows suggestions by Marschak et al. (1999), and takes reference to tectonic-magmatic activ- ity imparted by the Brasiliano Orogeny. Adopted subdivision is based on Marschak et al. (1999) type I: continental crust not submitted to penetrative deformation or metamorphism after the Proterozoic (post-Ordovician time would be the more proper term for the South American Platform in West Gondwana), but affected by Proterozoic thermo-tectonic activity. Only in case 6b (Table 1) is there clear incidence of Marschak et al. (1999) type A, with continental crust presently residing in an active margin. For several reasons, like inadequate geologic mapping, absence or deficiency of geophysical and geochronological data, presence of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic cover, among others, adequate tectonic zoning of many blocks has yet to be done. This should include discriminating and mapping of full cratonic areas (orthoplatforms), foreland zones, activated, regenerated, decra- tonized areas, etc. An interesting exercise was developed for the

Sao˜ Francisco Craton (Alkmim et al., 1993). Similar develop- ments should be available for other blocks in the near future. However, a quest for caution should be beared in mind. Many cratonic areas held as preserved from later orogenic events were not really entirely preserved, therefore requiring tectonic zoning differentiation. In the case of the Amazonian block, the largest segment derived from Rodinia break-up in South America, its classifi- cation among those of lowest reworking level (Table 1) may be merely consequence of lesser knowledge. It is known that Ama- zonia served as foreland for the Araguaia-Paraguay orogenic system at the end of the Neoproterozoic. Amazonia behaved as a relatively rigid block, having been penetrated by alkaline mafic-ultramafic magmatism along the axis of the Amazon Basin (Cordani et al., 1984), and by a dike swarm in the Tapajos´ river area at that time (Santos et al., 2002). It is worth also mentioning the case of the Goias´ block. Recent studies show the presence of Archean and Paleoproterozoic domains, which have been partially or completely regenerated during Brasil- iano Orogeny (Pimentel et al., 2000, 2004), including collision with Neoproterozoic island arc systems, previously thought to be older basement. Pre-Neoproterozoic litho-structural and isotopic traces are displayed in the bottom part of Table 1 as recognized cases of extreme reworking. Evidence of Archean, Paleoproterozoic, and

R.A. Fuck et al. / Precambrian Research 160 (2008) 108–126


Mesoproterozoic protoliths has been found frequently within Brasiliano mobile belts, especially in using tools as Sm-Nd and U-Pb isotopic determinations, either ID-TIMS or SHRIMP age determinations. In many cases of Brasiliano belts, higher T DM model ages or older inherited zircon grains indicate the presence of Paleoproterozoic or Archean material within the basement.


RAF and BBBN are CNPq research fellows; RAF acknowledges support from FINATEC. Comments and helpful suggestions from J.J.W. Rodgers and V.A. Ramos are greatly appreciated.


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