The Upper Precambrian of South America

Fernando F M de Almeida, Yociteru Hasui, Benjamim Bley de Brito Neves


This paper deals with the structural organization and tectonic evolution of South American Continent basement during the Upper Precambrian. The South American Platform is the old platform of South America. It has more than half of this extension covered by sediments and volcanic rocks of Phanerozoic age; the basement is exposed in three vast shields and several little massifs. In the exposed basement some cratonic nuclei have been distinguished, with structures developed in the Middle Precambrian (Trans-Amazonic) and Lower Precambrian (Jequié and Guriense). The Lower Precambrian structures are described in small scattered nuclei, all the rest seeming to have been remobilized by tectonic, magmatic and thermal processes of Trans-Amazonic age. These processes affected large areas but are still insufficiently understood. In the Upper Precambrian, these cratonic nuclei underwent intense process of reactivation, in large areas, with formation of volcano-sedimentary covers, acid, basic and alkaline intrusive rocks, cataclastic zones and thermally affected zones. During the Upper Precambrian, geosynclinal evolution processes developed at the borders and between the cratons, generating fold belts and regions. The firstly developed belt is located in Central Brazil, related to the Uruaçuano Cycle (ca. 1300-1000 m.a.). The Espinhaço and Uruaçu Belts are attributed to this cycle. The other units are related to the Brasiliano Cycle ( 1000 m.y. to Cambro-Ordovician time). The fold belts are located in marginal position and the fold regions are between cratonic areas: both show different characteristic of organization, sedimentation, structures, tectonism, metamorphism, magmatism and metallogenesis. In the southern border of the South American Platform a fold region developed, which possibly represents the extension of the Southeastern Fold Region, and continues to the Andean Belt. The South American Platform consolidated during Cambro-Ordovician time. Its western and southern adjacent areas were places of geosynclinal evolution up to the Devonian in the Patagonian Platform and up to the Cenozoic in the Andean Chain. The eastern half of the South American Platform had a platformal evolution since the Silurian

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