Structural Organization and Tectono-Metamorphic Evolution of the Pan-African Suture Zone: Case of the Kabye and Kpaza Massifs in the Dahomeyide Orogen in Northern Togo (West Africa)


The Kabye and Kpaza Massifs correspond to two main granulitic suites in the suture zone of the Pan-African Dahomeyide orogenic belt, in northern Togo. The Kabye Massif is composed of an important west verging nappe pile subdivided into two petrographic units. The nappes in its western petrographic unit are made up of leucocratic garnetbearing granulites defined as the “Lassa-Soumdina Granulites” (GLS). The eastern petrographic unit consists of mela-nocratic granulites, with metagabbroic structures, called the “Ketao-Sirka Granulites” (GKS). These two petrographic units are separated by the Panalo Mylonitic Zone (ZMP). This major west verging zone includes a syn-Dn + 2 dextral shear contact. The Kpaza Massif comprises nappes of melanocratic granulites (GKM), comparable to the GKS of the Kabye Massif. All these granulitic nappes include boudins of pyroxenites or meta-anorthosites, and ultramafic rocks represented by serpentinites, talcschists, actinolite- and chlorite-schists which generally mark thrust soles. The GLS nappes are thrust over the Kara-Niamtougou orthogneissic unit (UKN) which is considered as the easternmost structural unit of the Dahomeyide external zone. On the other hand, the GKS nappes underlie those of the Binah meta-volcano sedimentary Complex (CB) which belongs to the Dahomeyide internal zone. As regards the Kpaza Massif, it occurs as a geologic window tectonically enclosed in the Mono Complex nappes (CM) corresponding to the southern part of the CB. The organization of the Kabye and Kpaza Massifs, as west verging nappe piles, and their relationships with the surrounding structural units express the tangential and folding tectonics that structured the Pan-African belt in northern Togo. The microstructures and mineral parageneses of the granulites and associated rocks in these two massifs indicate a polyphase tectono-metamorphic evolution: a syn-Dn granulitization (collision phase); a syn-Dn + 1 amphibolitization (obduction or tangential phase); and a syn- to post-Dn + 2 greenschist facies retrogressive metamorphism (post-nappe folding phase).

Share and Cite:

M. Tairou and P. Affaton, "Structural Organization and Tectono-Metamorphic Evolution of the Pan-African Suture Zone: Case of the Kabye and Kpaza Massifs in the Dahomeyide Orogen in Northern Togo (West Africa)," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 166-182. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.41015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] P. Affaton, M. A. Rahaman, R. Trompette and J. Sougy, “The Dahomeyide Orogen: Tectonothermal Evolution and Relationships with the Volta Basin,” In: Dallmayer and Lécorché, Ed., The West-African Orogen and Circum At lantic Correlatives, 1CGP, IUGS, UNESCO, 1991, pp. 107-122.
[2] P. Affaton, A. Kr?ner and K. F. Seddoh, “Pan African Granulites Formation in the Kabye of Northern Togo (West Africa): Pb-Pb Zircon Ages,” International Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 88, No. 4, 2000, pp. 778-790. doi:10.1007/s005310050305
[3] B. Péré and F. Colin, “The Chromite Deposit of Farande (Lama-Kara District, Togo),” Annals of Sciences Institute, Université du Bénin, Togo, 1972, pp. 1-23.
[4] I. R. Breda, “Study of the Geological Cartography and Recognition Mining Prospection in the North of Latitude 11 North (Benin),” Final report, Project No. 4105-011 13-20, Geominerarialtuliona, Borgo S. Dalmazzo, 1982.
[5] Y. No?l, N. B. Péré, A. Aregba, T. L. Lawson and K. S. Godonou, “Explicative Notice of the Geological Map (Scale: 1/200,000), Kara Sheet,” DGMG-Lomé/BRGM, Orléans, 1984.
[6] P. Affaton, “The Volta Basin (West Africa): An Upper Pro terozoic Passive Margin Tectonized at the Pan-African (600 ± 50 Ma),” Collection Etudes & Theses, Paris, 1990.
[7] B. E. Sabi, “Characterization of the Pan-African Daho meyide Belt Segment in Togo at Pagouda Latitude,” DEA Dissertation, Check Anta Diop University, Dakar, 1992.
[8] G. Duclaux, R. P.Ménot, S. Guillot, Y. Agbossoumondé and N. Hilaret, “The Mafic Complex of the Kabyé Massif (North Togo and North Benin): Evidence of a Pan-African Granulitic Continental arc Root,” Precambrian Re search, Vol. 151, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 101-118. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2006.08.012
[9] K. Attoh, R. D. Dallmeyer and P. Affaton, “Chronology of Nappe Assembly in the Pan-Africa Dahomeyide Oro gen, West Africa: Evidence from 40Ar/39Ar Mineral Ages,” Precambrian Research, Vol. 82, No. 1, 1997, pp. 153-171. doi:10.1016/S0301-9268(96)00031-9
[10] N. Hilaret, “Le Massif Granulitique HP de Kabyé (Nord Togo), Témoin d’un arc Continental Impliqué dans l’Oro genèse Panafricaine,” Mémoire DEA, Université J. Mon net St-Etienne, St-Etienne, 2004.
[11] M. S. Tairou, “La Tectonique Tangentielle Panafricaine au Nord-Togo,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Université de Lomé, Lomé, 2006.
[12] B. E. Sabi, “Etude Pétrologique et Structurale du Massif Kabyè, Nord-Togo,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Université de Lomé, Lomé, 2007.
[13] R. P. Ménot and K. F. Seddoh, “The Eclogites of Lato Hills (South Togo, West Africa): Relies from Early Tec tonometamorphic Evolution of the Pan-African Orogeny,” Chemical Geology, Vol. 50, No. 1-3, 1985, pp. 313-330. doi:10.1016/0009-2541(85)90126-3
[14] K. Attoh, “Dahomeyides in Southern Ghana: Evidence for Oceanic Closure and Crustal Imbrication in a Pan— African Orogen,” Mémoire CIFEG, Vol. 22, 1990, pp. 159-164.
[15] K. Attoh, “High-Pressure Granulite Facies Metamorphism in the Pan-African Dahomeyide Orogen, West Africa,” Journal of Geology, Vol. 106, No. 2, 1998, pp. 236-246. doi:10.1086/516019
[16] K. Attoh, G. S. A. Hawkings and S. A. Bowring, “U-Pb Zircon Ages from the Pan-African Dahomeyide Orogen, West Africa,” EOS Transactions on American Geophysical Union Spring Meeting, Vol. 72, 1991.
[17] Y. Agbossoumondé, “The Ultrabasic Complexes of the Pan-African Belt in Togo (Agou-Atakpame Axis, South Togo) Petrologic, Mineralogical and Geochemical Study,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Université Jean Monnet, St. Etienne, 1998.
[18] Y. Agbossoumondé, R.-P. Ménot and S. Guillot, “Meta morphic Evolution of Neoproterozoic Eclogites from South Togo (West Africa),” Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 33 No. 2, 2001, pp. 227-244. doi:10.1016/S0899-5362(01)80061-0
[19] Y. Agbossoumondé, S. Guillot and R.-P. Ménot, “Pan African Subduction-Collision Envent Evidence by High-P Coronas in Metanorites from the Agou Massif (Southern Togo),” Precambrian Research, Vol. 135, No. 1.2, 2004, pp. 1-21. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2004.06.005
[20] K. Attoh and J. Morgan, “Geochemistry of High-Pressure Granulites from the Pan-African Dahomeyide Orogen, West Africa: Constraints on the Origin and Composition of Lower Crust,” Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 39, No. 3-5, 2004, pp. 201-208. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2004.07.048
[21] K. Attoh and P. M. Nude, “Tectonic Significance of Car bonatites and Ultrahigh-Pressure Rocks in the Pan-African Dahomeyide Suture Zone, Southeastern Ghana,” In: N. Ennih and J.-P. Liégeois, Eds., The Boundaries of the West African Craton, Geological Society London, Special Publications, Vol. 297, 2008, pp. 217-231.
[22] R. Trompette, “Les Dahomeyides au Bénin, Togo et Ghana: une Cha?ne de Collision d’age Panafricain,” Revue Géo logie Dynamique et Géographie Physique, Vol. 21, No. 5, 1979, pp. 339-349.
[23] R. Trompette, “The Pan-African Dahomeyide Belt and the Volta Basin (South-Eastern Margin of the West Afri can Craton),” Mémoire BRGM, Vol. 92, 1980, pp. 9-62.
[24] P. Affaton, J. Sougy and R. Trompette, “The Tectono Stratigraphic Relationships between the Upper Precam brian and Lower Paleozoic Volta Basin and the Pan-African Dahomeyide Orogenic Belt (West Africa),” American Journal Sciences, Vol. 280, 1980, pp. 224-248. doi:10.2475/ajs.280.3.224
[25] N. Simpara, J. Sougy and R. Trompette, “Lithostratigra phy and Structure of the Buem, External Unit of Pan-African Dahomeyide Belt in the Bassar Region (Togo),” Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1985, pp. 479-486.
[26] Y. Agbossoumondé, R.-P. Ménot, J. L. Paquette, S. Guil lot, S. Yessoufou and C. Perrache, “Petrological and Geo chronological Constraints on the Origin of the Palimé Amlamé Granitoids (South Togo, West Africa): A Segment of the West African Craton Paleoproterozoic Mar gin Reactivated during the Pan African Collision,” Gond wana Research, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2007, pp. 476-488. doi:10.1016/
[27] M. S. Tairou, P. Affaton, B. E. Sabi and K. F. Seddoh, “Tectono-Metamorphic Evolution of the Mo and Kara Niamtougou Orthogneissic Suites, Northern Togo,” Global Journal of Geological Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2009, pp. 93-100.
[28] R. Caby and J. M. Boesse, “Pan-African Nappe System in Southwest Nigeria: The Ife-Ilesha Schist Belt,” Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2001, pp. 211 225. doi:10.1016/S0899-5362(01)80060-9
[29] P. Affaton, J. L. Lassere, L. T. Lawson and P. L. Vincent, “Explicative Notice of the Geological Maps (scale: 1/200, 000) of the Togo Republic and Benin Popular Republic between Latitudes 9 and 10 North (Bassari-Djougou and Parakou-Nikki Sheets),” Rapport BNRM-Togo, BRGM France et OBEMINES-Bénin, 1978.
[30] J. P. Sylvain, J. Collart, A. Aregba and S. Godonou, “Ex plicative Notice of the Geological Map (Scale: 1/500,000) of Togo,” Mémoire DGMG/BNRM, Lomé, 1986.
[31] F. Kalsbeek, P. Affaton, B. Ekwueme, R. Frei and K. Thrane, “Geochronology of Granitoid and Metasedimentary Rocks from Togo and Benin, West Africa: Comparisons with NE Brazil,” Precambrian Research, Vol. 196-197, 2012, pp. 218-233. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2011.12.006
[32] M. S. Tairou, P. Affaton, J.-P. Gélard, R. A?te and B. E. Sabi, “Panafrican Brittle Deformation and Paleostress Su perposition in Northern Togo (West Africa),” Comptes Rendus Géosciences, Vol. 339, 2007, pp. 849-857.
[33] R. Caby, “Precambrian Terranes of Benin-Nigeria and Northeast Brazil and the Late Protererozoic South Atlan tic Fit,” Geological Society of America, Special Paper, Vol. 230, 1989, pp. 145-158.
[34] C. Castaing, C. Triboulet, J. L. Feybesse and P. Chevre mont, “Tectono-Metamorphic Evolution of Ghana, Togo, and Benin in the Light of the Pan-African/Brasiliano Oro geny,” Tectonophysics, Vol. 218, No. 4, 1993, pp. 323 342. doi:10.1016/0040-1951(93)90322-B
[35] P. Affaton, J. P. Gélard and N. Simpara, “Paleostresses Recorded by Fracturing in the Atacora Structural Unit (Pan-African Dahomeyide Belt, Togo),” Comptes Rendus Académie des Sciences, Vol. 312, 1991, pp. 763-768.
[36] A. Spry, “Metamorphic Textures,” Pergamon Press, Ox ford, 1969.
[37] A. Nicolas, “Principes de Tectonique,” 2nd Edition, Mas son, Paris, 1988.
[38] J. P. Bard, “Microtextures des Roches Magmatiques et Métamorphiques,” 2nd Edition, Masson, Paris, 1990.
[39] C. W. Passchier and R. A. J. Trouw, “Micro-Tectonics,” Springer, Amsterdam, 1995.
[40] R. Kretz, “Symbols of Rock-Forming Minerals,” American Mineralogist, Vol. 68, 1983, pp. 277-279.
[41] S. Alidou, P. Germain, J.-L. Julien and P. Tempier, “On the Metamorphism of the Badagba Quartzites Group (Da homey),” Comptes Rendus Académie des Sciences, Vol. 281, 1975, pp. 339-342.
[42] J. Bernard-Griffiths, J. Jeucat and R. P. Ménot, “Isotopic (Rb-Sr, U-Pb and Sm-Nd) and Trace Element Geochem istry of Eclogites from the Pan-African Belt: A Case Study from REE Fractionation during High-Grade Meta morphism,” Lithos, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1991, pp. 43-57. doi:10.1016/0024-4937(91)90019-H
[43] G. Duclaux, S. Guillot, Y. Agbossoumondé, R. P. Ménot and N. Hilaret, “The Kabye Granulitic Massif (Northern Togo), a Witness of Subducted and Collided Intra-Oceanic Pan-African Arc,” 20è colloque de Géologie Africaine, Orléans, 2-7 June 2004.
[44] K. Attoh, F. Corfu and M. P. Nude, “U-Pb Zircon Age of Deformed Carbonatite and Alkaline Rocks in the Pan African Dahomeyide Suture Zone, West Africa,” Precam brian Research, Vol. 155, No. 3-4, 2007, pp. 251-260. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2007.02.003
[45] E.K. Agyei, J.E.J.M. van Landewijk, R.L. Amstrong, L.F. Harakal, K.L. Scott, “Rb-Sr and K-Ar Geochronometry of Southeastern Ghana,” Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 6, 1987, pp. 153-161. doi:10.1007/BF00399709
[46] J. R. Lancelot, A. M. Boullier, H. Maluski and J. Ducrot, “Deformation and Related Radiochronology in a Late Pan African Mylonitic Shear Zone, Adrar des Iforas (Mali),” Contrib Mineral Petrology, Vol. 82, 1983, pp. 312-326.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.