The Precambrian Geology of Ethiopia: A review

Asfawossen Asrat, Pierre Barbey, Gerard Gleizes

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The Precambrian basement of Ethiopia exposed in four geographically separate zones has been traditionally classified into three stratigraphic units: the Lower Complex, the Middle Complex and the Upper Complex. Recent geochronological, thermochronological, geochemical and lithotectonic data, however, revealed that this three-fold classification of the Precambrian basement of Ethiopia is highly oversimplified and even possibly wrong. Based on a thorough review of existing data to date on the Ethiopian basement, it is here proposed to abandon this three­fold stratigraphy, ratifying former proposals based on local studies. Moreover, there is confusion and little agreement in the application of the terms Pan-African orogeny, Arabian Nubian Shield (ANS) and Mozambique Belt (MB) to the Ethiopian Basement. Compilation and review of existing data on magmatic rocks (particularly granitoids) indicate that the MB and the ANS correspond to contemporaneous events of the Pan-African Orogeny, at least in Ethiopia, but with a difference in their tectonic evolution and degree of later denudation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-288
Number of pages18
JournalAfrica Geoscience Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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