The Present Day Drainage Patterns of the Congo River System and their Neogene Evolution

  • Tyrel J. Flügel
  • Frank D. Eckardt
  • Fenton P. D. Cotterill
Part of the Regional Geology Reviews book series (RGR)


Whilst the Congo Basin contains one of the world’s largest fluvial systems, little is known about the basin’s geomorphic evolution during the Cenozoic. The basin’s drainage patterns may provide insights into its geomorphic development during the Neogene. The juxtaposition of differing drainage patterns can be explained by the multi-stage evolution of the Congo Basin. The drainage pattern is influenced by several controls, such as lithology and tectonics, which dominate in some regions, with zones of overlap were controls inter-act. The evaluation of the drainage patterns in the context of the basin’s long wavelength geomorphology reveals a relative chronology of events. However, timings of key events are poorly known but evidence obtained using geoecodynamics constrains the ages of major river emplacements. The combination of geologic, geomorphic and phylogenetic data sheds light on the Neogene evolution of the Congo River System.


Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Drainage Pattern Central Basin Precambrian Basement Congo Basin 
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.



Tyrel Flügel thanks the National Research Foundation (South Africa), John Ellerman Foundation and the ERANDA Foundation for their funding. The authors also thank Maarten J. de Wit for his support and encouragement during the writing of this chapter as well as the two reviewers whose comments improved this document.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tyrel J. Flügel
    • 1
  • Frank D. Eckardt
    • 1
  • Fenton P. D. Cotterill
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, Upper CampusUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.AEON Geoecodynamic Research Hub, Department of Botany and ZoologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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