The geochronological evolution of the Paleoproterozoic Baoulé-Mossi domain of the Southern West African Craton

Luis A. Parra-Avila, Anthony I.S. Kemp, Marco L. Fiorentini, Elena Belousova, Lenka Baratoux, Sylvain Block, Mark Jessell, Olivier Bruguier, Graham C. Begg, John Miller, James Davis, T. Campbell McCuaig

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Generation and emplacement of felsic magmas in the Paleoproterozoic Baoulé-Mossi domain, West African Craton does not match the apparent peaks of global crust generation identified between ca. 2900–2600, 1900–1600 and 1200–900 Ma. In contrast, across the Baoulé-Mossi domain, the emplacement of felsic intrusions ranges from ca. 2300 to 2000 Ma. It has proven difficult to place this magmatism within a robust geodynamic framework due to the lack of accurate geochronological data from across the West African Craton. The present study addresses this issue by presenting eighty-four new felsic intrusions zircon ion microprobe and LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages from areas that up until now have not been targeted for geochronology. The new dataset, when fully integrated with existing age data, reveals a craton-wide diachronous geochronological pattern characterized by a magmatic front that migrated westward. This migration proceeded at a rate of 35 km per million years, with an apparent offset of the initiation and cessation of felsic magmatic activity between the east and west of approximately 50 million years. The new data also show that although the entire Baoulé-Mossi domain was subject to continuous magmatic activity for at least 150 million years, this magmatic activity displays a rather different record in the eastern and western portions of the domain. The differences are expressed as a westward migration of the magmatic activity, cessation of activity around ca. 2100 Ma (easternmost portion) and ca. 2050 Ma (westernmost portion) and a higher incidence of inherited ages in the westernmost portion when compared to the easternmost region. In addition, the new U-Pb data identify some of the oldest felsic intrusions in the region, including a granite from Burkina Faso (2265 ± 17 Ma) and a diorite porphyry (2216 ± 5 Ma) in southern Mali. This study also reveals inherited Archean zircon cores from across southern Mali. The combination of the new data presented here, along with previously published data, suggests that the Baoulé-Mossi domain formed from the accretion of two major crustal blocks. The Archean inherited ages open a window for further investigation of the interaction between the Archean Kénéma-Man and the Paleoproterozoic Baoulé-Mossi domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalPrecambrian Research
Early online date29 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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