Post-Great Oxidation Event Orosirian–Statherian iron formations on the São Francisco craton: Geotectonic implications

Carlos A. Rosière, Andrey Bekker, Vassily K. Rolim, João Orestes S. Santos

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The protocratonic core of the São Francisco craton assembled during the 2.1–2.0 Ga Transamazonian orogeny. Orosirian Fe-rich sequences that extend from the northwestern border of the São Francisco protocraton (Colomi Group) to the southeast under the Espinhaço Belt (the < 1.99 Ga Serra da Serpentina Group) record the opening of an intracratonic basin with the episodically developed ferruginous waters prior to the initiation of the Espinhaço rift at 1.8 Ga. Ferruginous conditions developed again during deposition of the Canjica Iron Formation of the < 1.7 Ga Serra de São José Group in the Espinhaço rift (contemporaneously with felsic magmatism; Conceição do Mato Dentro Rhyolite and Borrachudos Granitic Suite) and extensive sandstones of the < (1666 ±32) Ma Itapanhoacanga and < (1683 ±11) Ma São João da Chapada Formations. In the upper São João da Chapada Formation, banded hematitic phyllite also records input of Fe-rich fluids. The young age of these iron formations with respect to the conventionally accepted 1.88 Ga age for the youngest shallow-marine Paleoproterozoic iron formations, the apparent absence of granular facies (granular iron formations), and yet shallow-water (above fair-weather base) depositional environment indicate that an unusual setting developed in a large basin after the Great Oxidation Event, in the aftermath of the Transamazonian orogeny. We propose that mantle plumes led to the opening of a previously unrecognized rift system, that could have caused the magmatism, supplied hydrothermal Fe and led to the opening of the Espinhaço, Pirapora, and Paramirim rifts, later obliterated by the Araçuaí orogenic belt during the Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic Brasiliano orogeny. The rift system did not develop into an open continental margin but probably evolved into a broad sag basin, stretching across the São Francisco and Congo cratons.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12300
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number4
Early online date29 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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