The Atlantic Margin of Southern Africa Between Latitude 17° South and the Cape of Good Hope

  • H. Martin


The 2000-km coast of southwestern Africa from lat 17° S to the Cape of Good Hope has few sizeable embayments. The only two bays are the Saldanha Bay to the north of Cape Town, which is enclosed by low granite hills, and Walvis Bay, which is protected by a long sand spit. From this nearly unbroken coast the land rises eastwards in wide pediplains, surmounted by single hills or ranges of hills. The pediments slope towards the major river systems and either intersect on the broad interfluves or terminate against hills, where these form the interfluves. The pediments are best developed in the desert belt to the north of the Orange River. In the winter rain belt to the south of the River the pediments give way to a rolling topography of low hills. The pedimented interfluves rise eastwards with gradients of about 1: 100 to 1: 80 reaching elevations of 1000–1200 m at distances of about 140 km from the coast where the dissected mountain belt of the Great Escarpment begins. The major rivers have cut deep gorges into the pedimented surfaces.


Continental Drift Fossil Wood Marine Fossil Atlantic Margin Calcareous Concretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bigarella, J. J., 1970, Continental drift and paleocurrent analysis (A comparison between Africa and South America). Second International Gondwana Symposium, South Africa, p. 73–97.Google Scholar
  2. Bryan, G. M. and Simpson, E. S. W., 1971, Seismic refraction measurements on the continental shelf between Orange River and Cape Town: ICSU/SCOR Symposium Cambridge Institute of Geological Sciences Report No. 70/16, p. 187-198.Google Scholar
  3. Bullard, E. C., Everett, J. E. and Smith, G., 1965, The fit of the continents around the Atlantic: Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. London, Series A, v. 258, p. 41–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carey, S. W. and Ahmad, N., 1961, Glacial marine sedimentation: University of Tasmania, Dept. of Geol., Publication. 87.Google Scholar
  5. Closs, D., 1967, Intercalations of Goniatites in Gondwanic glacial beds of Uruguay: Simpos. Internac. sobre Estrat, y Paleont. del Gondwana, Mar del Plata (Abs.), p. 9.Google Scholar
  6. Creer, K. M., Embleton, B. J. J. and Valencio, D. A., 1969, Comparison between the upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic paleomagnetic poles for South America, Africa and Australia: Earth Planet. Sci. Letters, v. 7, p. 288–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickins, J. M., 1961, Eurydesma and Peruvispira from the Dwyka Beds of South Africa: Palaeontology, v. 4, Part 1, p. 138–148.Google Scholar
  8. Du Toit, A. L., 1915, Discussion on “The Dwyka Series in South West Africa.” by P. A. Wagner: Proc. Geol. Soc. S. Afr., v. 18, p. XIV.Google Scholar
  9. Ewing, M., Ludwig, W. J., Ewing, J. I., 1963, Geophysical investigations in the submerged Argentine coastal plain: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 74, p. 275–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fox, P. J., Heezen, B. C., and Johnson, G. L., 1970, Jurassic sandstone from the tropical Atlantic: Science, v. 170, p. 1402–1404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frakes, L. A., 1967, Facies and paleogeography of late Paleozoic diamictite, Falkland Islands: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 78, p. 37–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frakes, A. L. and Cromwell, J. C., 1970, Late Paleozoic glaciation: II, Africa exclusive of the Karroo basin: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 81, p. 2261–2286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gardiner, B. G., 1962, Namaichthys schroederi Gürich and other Palaeozoic fishes from South Africa: Palaeontology, v. 5, p. 9.Google Scholar
  14. Gevers, T. W., 1936, The Etjo Beds of northern Hereroland, South West Africa: Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Afr., v. 39.Google Scholar
  15. Hälbich, I., 1962, On the morphology of the Dwyka Series in the vicinity of Loeriesfontein, C. P.: Ann. Univ. Stellenbosch, v. 37, Series A, p. 43–155.Google Scholar
  16. Haughton, S. H., 1930a, On the occurrence of Upper Cretaceous marine fossils near Bogenfels, S. W. Africa: Trans. Roy. Soc. S. Afr., v. 18.Google Scholar
  17. Haughton, S. H., 1930b, Note on the occurrence of Upper Cretaceous marine beds in South West Africa: Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Afr., v. 33.Google Scholar
  18. Haughton, S. H., 1963, The Stratigraphic History of Africa South of the Sahara: Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh and London.Google Scholar
  19. Haughton, S. H., 1969, Geological history of southern Africa: Geol. Soc. of South Africa, Cape and Transvaal Printers, Cape Town.Google Scholar
  20. Haughton, S. H. and Frommurze, H. F., 1936, The geology of the Warmbad District, South West Africa: S. W. A. Dept. of Mines, Memoir No. 2.Google Scholar
  21. Heath, D. C., 1966, Die geologie van die Karoosisteem in die gebied Mariental — Asab, Suidwes-Afrika: Unpublished M. Sc. thesis, University of Bloemfontein.Google Scholar
  22. Heezen, B. C., Gray, C., Segre, A. G., and Zarudski, E. F. K., 1971, Evidence of foundered continental crust beneath the central Tyrrhenian Sea: Nature, v. 229, p. 327–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Heezen, B. C. and Tharp, M., 1961, Physiographic diagram of the South Atlantic Ocean: Lamont Geological Observatory.Google Scholar
  24. Holtedahl, H., 1967, Notes on the formation of fjords and fjord valleys: Geografiska Annaler, v. 49A, no. 2-4, p. 188–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kaiser, E., 1926, Die Diamantewüste Südwestafrikas: Dieter. Reimer Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  26. Lane, N. G. and Frakes, L. A., 1970, A Permian starfish from South West Africa: J. Paleont., v. 44, p. 1135–1136.Google Scholar
  27. Maack, R., 1952, Die Entwicklung der Gondwanaschichten in Südbrasilien und ihre Beziehungen zur Karroo-Formation Südafrikas: Symp. sur les séries de Gondwana, XIX Cong. Géol. Intern., Alger.Google Scholar
  28. Maack, R., 1963, Vorläufiger Bericht über eine Forschungsreise durch das Kaokoveld. Ein Beitrag zur Frage der tangentialen Krustenverschiebung: Die Erde, Zeitschr. d. Ges. f. Erdkunde zu Berlin, v. 94, no. 3/4, p. 247–264.Google Scholar
  29. Martin, H., 1953, Notes on the Dwyka succession and on some pre-Dwyka valleys in South West Africa: Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Afr., v. 56.Google Scholar
  30. Martin, H., 1961, The hypothesis of continental drift in the light of recent advances of geological knowledge in Brazil and in South West Africa: Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Afr., Annex to v. 64, p. 1–47, A. L. Du Toit Mem. Lect. No. 7.Google Scholar
  31. Martin, H., 1968, Palaeomorphologische Formelemente in den Landschaften Südwest-Afrikas: Geol. Rundschau, v. 58/1, p. 121–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Martin, H. and Schalk, K., 1957, Gletscherschliffe an der Wand eines U-Tales im nördlichen Kaodoveld, Südwest-Afrika: Geol. Rdsch., v. 46, p. 571–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Martin, H., Walliser, O., and Wilczewski, N., 1970, A Goniatite from the marine Dwyka Bed at Schlip, South West Africa: Second International Gondwana Symposium, South Africa, p. 621-625.Google Scholar
  34. Martin, H. and Wilczewski, N., 1970, Palaeoecology, conditions of deposition and the palaeogeography of the marine Dwyka Beds of South West Africa: Second International Gondwana Symposium, South Africa, p. 225-232.Google Scholar
  35. McElhinny, M. W., 1970, Formation of the Indian Ocean: Nature, v. 228, p. 977–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Reuning, E., 1929, Differentiation der Karroo-Eruptiva im südlichen Kaokoveld, Sudwestafrika: Int. Geol. Congr., XV Sess. Pretoria.Google Scholar
  37. Reuning, E. and Martin, H., 1957, Die Prä-Karroolandschaft, die Karroosedimente und Karroo-Eruptivgesteine des südlichen Kaokoveldes in Südwestafrika: N. J. Miner. etc., 91, p. 193–212.Google Scholar
  38. Rust, I. C., 1967, On the sedimentation of the Table Mountain Group in the western Cape Province: D. Sc. Thesis, Univ. of Stellenbosch.Google Scholar
  39. Schroeder, H., 1908, Marine Fossilien in Verbindung mit permischem Glazialkonglomerat in Deutsch-Südwestafrika: J. Kgl. Preuss. Geol. Landesamt, v. 29, no. 1, p. 694–697.Google Scholar
  40. Siedner, G. and Miller, J. A., 1968, K-Ar age determinations on basaltic rocks from South West Africa and their bearing on continental drift: Earth Planet. Sci. Letters, v. 4, p. 451–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Simpson, E. S. W., 1971, The geology of the Southwest African continental margin: a review. SOR/IUGS Symposium on East Atlantic continental margins, Cambridge. Institute of Geological Sciences Report No. 70/16, pp. 153-170.Google Scholar
  42. Söhnge, P. G. and de Villiers, J., 1946, Résume of the geology of the Richtersveld and the eastern Sperrgebiet: Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa, v. XLIX, p. 263–272.Google Scholar
  43. Stocken, C. G., 1962, The diamond deposits of the Sperrgebiet, South West Africa: Field Exc. Guide, 5th Ann. Congr. Geol. Soc. S. Afr., p. 15.Google Scholar
  44. Stratten, T., 1970, Tectonic framework of sedimentation during the Dwyka period in South Africa: Second International Gondwana Symposium, South Africa, p. 483-490.Google Scholar
  45. Wilson, E. J., 1965, Final geological report and summary of operations, Artnell Petroleum Concession Area South West Africa: unpublished report.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Geologisches und Paläontologisches InstitutUniversity of GöttingenGermany

Personalised recommendations