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Benue Trough and Benue Chain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2009

J. Benkhelil
Département de Géologie, Université de Dakar, Dakar–Fann, Sénégal.


It is suggested that the Benue Trough may have been initiated by the extension of the equatorial oceanic fracture zones onto the continent during the early stages of the separation of Africa and South America. A transcurrent movement along deep-seated faults of the basement is responsible for the structure of the trough. After a period of extension characterized by the sedimentary infilling of the trough and igneous activity, the trough is turned into a chain through a short phase of compression. A discrete pattern of ‘en echelon’ folds and the strain pattern deduced from the analysis of large scale and microfracturing correspond to a N–S to N160° E direction of compression coupled to a sinistral transcurrent movement along a NE–SW direction. The difference in age of the folding phase in the northern and southern parts of the chain indicates a diachronous nature for this tectonic event in relation to the wrench regime. The Tertiary evolution of the trough marked by a tensional regime resulting in an E–W extension is to be related to the Cameroon Volcanic Line.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1982

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