Low-temperature evolution of the Morondava rift basin shoulder in western Madagascar: An apatite fission track study

Giese, Jörg; Seward, Diane; Schreurs, Guido (2012). Low-temperature evolution of the Morondava rift basin shoulder in western Madagascar: An apatite fission track study. Tectonics, 31(2), TC2009. Washington, D.C.: American Geophysical Union, European Geophysical Society 10.1029/2011TC002921

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[1] The evolution of the rift shoulder and the sedimentary sequence of the Morondava basin in western Madagascar was mainly influenced by a Permo-Triassic continental failed rift (Karroo rift), and the early Jurassic separation of Madagascar from Africa. Karroo deposits are restricted to a narrow corridor along the basement-basin contact and parts of this contact feature a steep escarpment. Here, apatite fission track (AFT) analysis of a series of both basement and sediment samples across the escarpment reveals the low-temperature evolution of the exhuming Precambrian basement in the rift basin shoulder and the associated thermal evolution of the sedimentary succession. Seven basement and four Karroo sediment samples yield apparent AFT ages between ∼330 and ∼215 Ma and ∼260 and ∼95 Ma, respectively. Partially annealed fission tracks and thermal modeling indicate post-depositional thermal overprinting of both basement and Karroo sediment. Rocks presently exposed in the rift shoulder indicate temperatures of >60°C associated with this reheating whereby the westernmost sample in the sedimentary plain experienced almost complete resetting of the detrital apatite grains at temperatures of about ∼90–100°C. The younging of AFT ages westward indicates activity of faults, re-activating inherited Precambrian structures during Karroo sedimentation. Furthermore, our data suggest onset of final cooling/exhumation linked to (1) the end of Madagascar's drift southward relative to Africa during the Early Cretaceous, (2) activity of the Marion hot spot and associated Late Cretaceous break-up between Madagascar and India, and (3) the collision of India with Eurasia and subsequent re-organization of spreading systems in the Indian Ocean.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Schreurs, Guido


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




American Geophysical Union, European Geophysical Society




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:42

Last Modified:

23 Sep 2015 16:37

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:





https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/17133 (FactScience: 224859)

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