New detrital zircon U-Pb ages from BIF-related metasediments in the Ntem Complex (Congo craton) of southern Cameroon, West Africa


Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) were formed by contemporaneous events of active sediments supply and the venting of a hydrothermal fluid source at the Mid-Ocean-Ridge. BIFs within the Ntem Complex at the northern edge of the Congo Craton are intercalated with metasandstones and siltstones. SHRIMP U-Pb analysis on detrital zircons obtained from these metasediments gave variable ages from over 3000 Ma to 1000 Ma with the maximum age of deposition clustered around 1200 Ma and the peak of deposition at 1800 Ma. This age range suggested that the sub-basin was opened sometime in the Archean and remained active up till the Neoproterozoic. Zircons with Archean ages have a provenance linked to the charnockitic suite and the high-K granites within the Ntem Complex. The Paleoproterozoic ages are attributed to clastic inputs from the neigbouring Nyong Series west of the Ntem Complex. Also the peak of deposition in the Proterozoic could probably be explained by the globally recognized intense crust-forming processes in the Early Proterozoic time. The provenance of the younger Neoproterozoic ages is tied to various lithologies within the northern mobile belts of the Adamawa-Yade massifs and correlates with Neoproterozoic sedimentation ages in the Yaoundé, Lom and Poli series. The Neoproterozoic ages obtained are comparable to those obtained from metasediments of the Amazonian Craton and provide evidence of Pre-Gondwana assemblage of the Congo and the S?o Francisco Cratons.

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Chombong, N. , Suh, E. and Ilouga, C. (2013) New detrital zircon U-Pb ages from BIF-related metasediments in the Ntem Complex (Congo craton) of southern Cameroon, West Africa. Natural Science, 5, 835-847. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.57101.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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