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Lithostratigraphy, sedimentation and evolution of the Volta Basin in Ghana

By John N. Carney, Colm J. Jordan, Christopher W. Thomas, Daniel J. Condon, Simon J. Kemp and John A. Duodo

Abstract

We present a revised lithostratigraphy for the Voltaian Supergroup of Ghana, based on a review of existing literature, interpretations of remotely sensed data and reconnaissance field survey of the Volta Basin. These strata thicken eastwards, to a maximum of between 5 and 6 km adjacent to the Pan-African Dahomeyide orogen. They began to accumulate some time after about 1000 Ma, along the margin of an epicontinental sea. Initial sedimentation, comprising the age-equivalent Kwahu and Bombouaka Groups, shows a cyclical mode of deposition controlled by eustatic changes in sea-level that produced a range of nearshore marine, littoral and terrestrial environments.\ud \ud A major erosional interval was followed by deposition of the 3–4 km thick Oti-Pendjari Group. Basal tillites and associated sandy diamictons are correlated with the Marinoan (end-Cryogenian) glaciation, indicating a maximum depositional age of about 635 Ma. The overlying cap carbonates and tuffs were deposited within a shallow epeiric sea bordered by a volcanically active rift system. The main part of the group records the transition from a rifted passive margin to a fully developed foreland basin receiving marine flysch in the form of argillaceous strata interbedded with highly immature wacke-type sandstones and conglomerates. Maximum accommodation space was developed within a foredeep adjacent to the Dahomeyide belt. Towards the end of the orogenic phase, the foredeep succession became partially inverted and then was buried under coarse terrestrial, red-bed molasse of the Obosum Group.\ud \u

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.precamres.2010.08.012
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:12571

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