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The Upper Jurassic Stanleyville Group of the eastern Congo Basin: An example of perennial lacustrine system

Abstract : The intracratonic Congo Basin, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is the largest sedimentary basin of Africa. The Jurassic strata outcrop along its eastern margin, south of Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville). In the last century, the Upper Jurassic Stanleyville Group was described as a lacustrine series containing a thin basal marine limestone designed as the ;Lime Fine; beds. Since the proposal of this early model, the depositional environment of the Stanleyville Group, and especially the possible marine incursion, has been debated, but without re-examining the existing cores, outcrop samples and historical fossils from the type location near Kisangani that are available at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (MRAC/KMMA, Tervuren, Belgium). In order to refine the former sedimentology, a series of nine exploration cores drilled in the Kisangani sub-basin have been described. This study aims at integrating sedimentary facies in existing sedimentary models and to discuss the hypothesis of the presence of Kimmeridgian marine deposits along the Congo River near Kisangani, a region which lies in the middle of the African continent. Eight facies have been identified, which permit a reinterpretation of the depositional environment and paleogeography of the Stanleyville Group. The base of the Stanleyville Group is interpreted to represent a conglomeratic fluvial succession, which filled an inherited Triassic paleotopography. Above these conglomerates, a transition to a typically lacustrine system is interpreted, which includes: (1) a basal profundal, sublittoral (brown to dark fine-grained siltstones with microbial carbonates, i.e., the ;Lime Fine; beds) and littoral lacustrine series; covered by (2) a sublittoral to profundal interval (brown to dark organic-rich, fine-grained siltstones), which corresponds to the maximum extent of the paleo-lake; and, finally (3) a shallow lacustrine series (greenish calcareous siltstones and sandstones with red siltstones). Unlike what has been proposed, the ;Lime Fine; beds are interpreted herein to be of lacustrine origin, rather than representing a Kimmeridgian marine transgression. We conclude that a Jurassic marine transgression did not, in fact, occur in the eastern region of the Congo Basin.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 12:59:40 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 3:45:48 AM

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Alexis Caillaud, Christian Blanpied, Damien Delvaux. The Upper Jurassic Stanleyville Group of the eastern Congo Basin: An example of perennial lacustrine system. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2017, 132, pp.80-98. ⟨10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2017.05.002⟩. ⟨insu-03664842⟩

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