EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Congo-São Francisco at 1.11 Ga and the megacontinent Umkondia 

Johanna Salminen
Johanna Salminen
  • University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and geography, (University of) Helsinki, Finland (

Currently three supercontinent cycles have been identified and existed supercontinents named from youngest to oldest: Pangea, Rodinia and Nuna/Columbia. Recently Wang et al. (2020) suggested that supercontinent amalgamation were each preceded by ~200 Myr by the assembly of long-lasting megacontinent aking to Gondwana.

The Congo-São Francisco (C/SF) craton is a main building block in Gondwana due to its central location, but its participation to Rodinia is controversial. Salminen et al. (2018) presented 1.11 Ga paleomagnetic and geochronological data from a prominent Epembe-Huila swarm of gabbronoritic dykes in the southern part of the Congo craton in Namibia and in Angola. This paleomagnetic pole yields a relatively low paleolatitude for the C/SF craton at ca. 1.11 Ga and permits a direct connection between Congo and Kalahari cratons. This connection supports an earlier qualitative comparison (Ernst et al., 2013), that the mafic Epembe-Huila swarm was an integral component of the Umkondo Large Igneous Province (LIP). The 1.11 Ga Umkondo LIP is widespread across Kalahari craton, and coeval mafic magmatism has been identified in several of the world’s other late Mesoproterozoic cratons: Laurentia, India, Amazonia, and Antarctica (Grunehogna). Were these coeval provinces spatially linked at the time of emplacement during the amalgamation of Rodinia? Robust paleomagnetic and geochronological data from Laurentia and Kalahari have demonstrated substantial separation between those two blocks at 1.11 Ga (Swanson-Hysell et al., 2015). However, based on similar tholeiitic magmatism Choudhary et al. (2019) proposed that Kalahari and C/SF together with Amazonia and northern India constituted “Umkondia” at 1.11 Ga. It has been proposed that Umkondia occupied an intermediary “megacontinental” role in the Nuna-Rodinia transition analogous to Gondwana in Rodinia-Pangea evolution (Wang et al., 2020). Contradicting Gondwana the proposed Umkondia was not long-lasting, since it has been proposed that Kalahari and Congo separated after 1.10 Ga to form a vast ocean (ca. 6000 km) during the formation of Rodinia and widespread juvenile intra-oceanic magmatism along the present-day central Brazil indicates a large ca. 0.94 Ga ocean between C/SF and Amazonia (Cordani et al., 2003).


Choudhary et al. 2019. Precambrian Research 332, 105382.

Cordani et al. 2003. Gondwana Research 6, 275-283.

Ernst et al. 2003. Lithos 174 1-14.

Salminen et al. 2018. Geology 46, 1011-1014.

Swanson-Hysell et al. 2015. Geophysical Journal International 203, 2237-2247.

Wang et al. 2020. Geology 49,


How to cite: Salminen, J.: Congo-São Francisco at 1.11 Ga and the megacontinent Umkondia , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10714,, 2021.

Display materials

Display file

Comments on the display material

to access the discussion