Geologische Rundschau

, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 711–727 | Cite as

Comparison of the Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary cycles of Somalia and Madagascar: implications for the Gondwana breakup

  • Peter Luger
  • M. Gröschke
  • M. Bussmann
  • A. Dina
  • W. Mette
  • A. Uhmann
  • H. Kallenbach


The Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary history of northern Somalia and the Morondava Basin of south-western Madagascar have been studied. Both regions display an independent facial development; however, a comparison of the sequential evolution of the Mesozoic sedimentary successions in these two presently widely separated areas reveals a surprisingly high level of similarity, which probably reflects major events during the disintegration of Eastern Gondwana during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. Although in Jurassic times the onset of transgressions and regressions in both areas compares well with eustatic development, major deviations in combination with the tectonic activities of different degrees are observed in the Early and Late Cretaceous synchronously in both regions. Transgressions are observed in Toarcian, Bajocian (not dated in northern Somalia), Callovian, Valanginian (Madagascar only), Aptian and Campanian times. Tectonism is noted before the Aptian and Campanian transgressions in northern Somalia and the Morondava Basin of south-western Madagascar.

Key words

Cretaceous Jurassic Gondwana Madagascar Somalia sea-level changes sedimentary cycles 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abbate E, Bruni P, Sagri M (1987) The Mesozoic to Tertiary deposits. GEOSOM 1987, Excursion B Guidebook. Somali Nat Univ, Dept Geology, Mogadishu, pp 12–22Google Scholar
  2. Abbate E, Ficcarelli G, Pirini Radrizzani C, Salvietti A, Torre D, Turi A (1974) Jurassic sequences from the Somali coast of the Gulf of Aden. Riv Ital Paleontol Stratigr 80: 409–478Google Scholar
  3. Arush MA (1993) Sedimentological and geochemical studies of the Tisje/Yesomma Successions (Cretaceous/Tertiary of Somalian) and their source Rocks. Berl Geowiss Abh 146: 116 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Azzaroli A (1979) The Mesozoic of Somalia. In: Merla G, Abbate E, Azzaroli A, Bruni P, Canuti P, Fazzuoh M, Sagri M, Taconi, P (eds) A Geological Map of Ethiopia and Somalia (1973) 1:2.00.000 and Comment with a Map of Major Landforms. Cons Naz Ric Italy, Florence, pp 33–36Google Scholar
  5. Besairie H (with Collignon M) (1972) Géologie de Madagascar — I, les terrains sédimentaires. Ann Géol Madagascar 35: 463 ppGoogle Scholar
  6. Beyth M (1972) Paleozoic-Mesozoic sedimentary basin of Mekele outlier, Northern Ethiopia. Am Assoc Petrol Geol Bull 56: 2426–2439Google Scholar
  7. Binks RM, Fairhead JD (1992) A plate tectonic setting for Mesozoic rifts of West and Central Africa. Tectonophysics 213: 141–151Google Scholar
  8. Böckelmann K, Schreiber W (1990) Sedimentology and stratigraphy of Taleh and Karkar Formations, Eocene, N Somalia. Berl Geowiss Abh A 120: 595–620Google Scholar
  9. Bosellini A (1989) The continental margins of Somalia: their structural evolution and sequence stratigraphy. Mem Sci Geol, Mem Inst Geol Min Univ Padova 41: 373–458Google Scholar
  10. Bosellini A (1992) the Continental Margins of Somalia: Structural Evolution and Sequence Stratigraphy. Am Assoc Petrol Geol Mem 53: 185–205Google Scholar
  11. Bott WF, Smith BA, Oakes G, Sikander AH, Ibraham AI (1992) The tectonic framework and regional hydrocarbon prospectivity of the Gulf of Aden. J Petrol Geol 15: 211–243Google Scholar
  12. Coffin MF, Rabinowitz Pd (1988) Evolution of the conjugate East African-Madagascar margins and the Western Somali Basin. Spec Pap Geol See Am 226: 78 ppGoogle Scholar
  13. Coffin MF, Rabinowitz PD (1992) the Mesozoic East African and Madagascan conjugate continental margins. Stratigraphy and Tectonics. In: Watkins JS, Zhiqiang F, Me Millen KJ (eds) Geology and Geophysics of Continental Margins. Am Assoc Petrol Geol Mem 53: 207–240Google Scholar
  14. Collignon M (1962) Le Bathonien marin à Madagascar Limité supérieur — Rapports et corrélation. Colloque du Jurassique, Luxembourg: 913–919Google Scholar
  15. Guireaud R, Binks RM, Fairhead JD, Wilson M (1992) Chronology and geodynamic setting of Cretaceous-Cenozoic rifting in West and Central Africa. Tectonophysics 213: 227–234Google Scholar
  16. Hankel O (1992a) Late Permian to Early Triassic microfloral assemblages from the Maji ya Chumvi Formation, Kenya. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 72: 129–147Google Scholar
  17. Hankel O (1992b) Phytogeographic evidence for the paleoposition of Madagascar. Proc 8th Gondwana Symp. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp201–209Google Scholar
  18. Hanket O (1993) Depositional cycles and palynostratigraphy of the Petmo-Triassic and Early to Middle Jurassic of east Africa and Madagascar. In: Thorweihe U, Schandelmeier H (eds) Geoscientific Research in Northeast Africa. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 351–355Google Scholar
  19. Haq BU, Hardenbol J, Vail PR (1987) Chronology of fluctuating sea levels since the Triassic. Science 235: 1156–1167Google Scholar
  20. Kamen-Kaye M (1978) Permian to Tertiary faunas and paleogeography: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, South Africa. J Petrol Geol 1: 79–101Google Scholar
  21. Luger P, Kuss J (1993) Late Cretaceous to basal Tertiary shallowwater sedimentation in Northern Somalia. In: Thorweihe U, Schandelmeier H (eds) Geoscientific Research in Northeast Africa. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 443–447Google Scholar
  22. Luger P, Hendriks F, Arush M, Bußmann M, Kallenbach H, Mette W, Strouhal A (1990) The Jurassic and the Cretaceous of Northern Somalia: preliminary results on the sedimentologic and stratigraphic framework. Bert Geowiss Abh A 120: 571–594Google Scholar
  23. Luger P, Wilke HG, Wunderlich H. On the occurrence of Calpionellids in the basal conglomerate of the Tisje Formation in Northern Somalia. 2nd Int Conf Geology of The Arab World, in pressGoogle Scholar
  24. Merla G, Abbate E, Azzarolli A, Bruni P, Canuti P, Fazzuoli M, Sagri M, Tacconi P (1979) A Geological Map of Ethiopia and Somalia (1973) 1:2.000.000 and comment with a Map of Major Landforms. CNR, Florence, 95 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Mette W (1993) Stratigraphy and Fazies des Jura von Nordsomalia. Berl Geowiss Abh A 19: 125 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Norton IO, Sclater JG (1979) A model for the evolution of the Indian Ocean and the breakup of Gondwanaland. J Geophys Res 84: 6803–6830Google Scholar
  27. Parson L, Roberts D, Miles P (1981) Magnetic anomalies in the Somali Basin, north-west Indian Ocean. Geophys J R Astron Soc 65: 260Google Scholar
  28. Patriat P, Segoufin J (1988) Reconstruction of the Central Indian Ocean. Tectonophysics 155: 211–234Google Scholar
  29. Pons JM, Schreeder JH, Höfling R, Moussavian E (1992) Upper Cretaceous rudist assemblages from northern Somalia. Geol Rom 28: 219–241Google Scholar
  30. Powell CMcA, Roots SR, Veevers JJ (1988) Pre-breakup continental extension in east Gondwanaland and the early opening of the eastern Indian Ocean. Tectonophysics 155: 261–283Google Scholar
  31. Rabinowitz PD, Coffin MF, Falvey D (1983) The separation of Madagascar and Africa. Science 220: 67–69Google Scholar
  32. Schreiber W (1993) Sedimentological and geochemical aspects of the Taleh Formation (Eocene) in North Somalia. In: Thorweihe U, Schandelmeier H (eds) Geoscientific Research in Northeast Africa. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 449–454Google Scholar
  33. Scotese CR, Gahagan LM, Larson RL (1988) Plate tectonic reconstructions of the Cretaceous and Cenozoic ocean basins. Tectonophysics 155: 27–48Google Scholar
  34. Segoufin J, Patriat P (1981) Réconstruction de l'Océan Indien occidental pour les époques des anomalies M21, M2 et 34. Paléoposition de Madagascar. Bull Soc Géol Fr 23: 603–607Google Scholar
  35. Wopfner H (1990) Rifting in Tanzanian Karroo basins and its economic implications. Etudes Recentes sur la Géologie de l'Afrique. CIFEG 1990/22, Orleans, pp 217–220Google Scholar
  36. Wopfner H (1993) Pangean depositional sequences between Karroo and Lut. In: Thorweihe U, Schandelmeier H (eds) Geoscientific Research in Northeast Africa. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 189–195Google Scholar
  37. Wopfner H, Kaaya CZ (1991) Stratigraphy and morphotectonics of Karroo deposits of the northern Selous Basin-Tanzania. Geol Mag 128: 319–334Google Scholar
  38. Wright RP, Askin RA (1987) The Permian-Triassic boundary in the southern Morondava Basin of Madagascar as defined by plant microfossils. In: McKenzie GD (ed) Gondwana Six, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Paleontology, Geophys Monogr 41: 157–166Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Luger
    • 1
  • M. Gröschke
    • 2
  • M. Bussmann
    • 2
  • A. Dina
    • 2
  • W. Mette
    • 3
  • A. Uhmann
    • 4
  • H. Kallenbach
    • 4
  1. 1.Fachbereich 5 (Geowissenschaften)Universität Bremen, BibliotheksstrasseBremenGermany
  2. 2.SFB 69, Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Institut für PaläontologieUniversität WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  4. 4.SFB 69, Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations