When the African-South American separation modified continental erosion

Land masses outside mountain ranges account for more than 60% of the world’s landmass. Despite their low relief and erosion, they make a significant contribution to the flow of sediments exported to the ocean. However, unlike mountain ranges, their export capacity has rarely been studied and has never been fully quantified. This constitutes a major bias in global erosion budgets, which are fundamental to understanding the links between climate, landforms and biogeochemical cycles on a global scale.

a) Map of the African and South American rift systems (in green) around 120 Ma during the break-up of the Gondwana continent. b) Palaeogeographic map of the study area (fixed Africa) during the Aptian (120-115 Ma) showing the main deformation structures and sedimentation domains (orange: continental; yellow: deltaic; light blue: shallow marine; dark blue: deep marine). The current shoreline is shown in blue.

Read more on the INSU website.

GET contact: Delphine Rouby

Sources :

Rouby et al., Source-To-Sink Sedimentary Budget of the African Equatorial Atlantic Rifted Margin, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2023

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