The Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt revisited: new insights into the stratigraphy

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Joanna Chaves Souto Araújo
Raianny Carolini Ramos Ferreira
Frederico Moreira Freitas
Joana Reis Magalhães


The Neoarchean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt (RVGB), southeast Brazil, contains major tectonic and stratigraphic discontinuities that allow its division into three fault-bound tectonostratigraphic blocks named Santa Bárbara, Nova Lima-Caeté and São Bartolomeu. Detailed 1:25,000 scale mapping of the RVGB northern part revealed that each block contains important particularities and were subdivided into different lithostratigraphic formal units. The Santa Bárbara block comprises the basal ultrabasic rocks of the Quebra Osso Group, followed by metavolcano-sedimentary successions of the Nova Lima Group (Vigário da Vara, Santa Quitéria, and Córrego do Sítio formations), and metasedimentary rocks of the Maquiné Group (Palmital and Casa Forte formations). The Nova Lima-Caeté block comprises the basal ultrabasic/basic volcanism (Ouro Fino and Morro Vermelho formations), metavolcano-sedimentary sequences (Mestre Caetano and Ribeirão do Brumado formations) of the Nova Lima Group, and the upper clastic sedimentary rocks of the Maquiné Group (Palmital and Casa Forte formations). The São Bartolomeu block has a distinct rock assemblage given by metasedimentary rocks of the Nova Lima Group (Fazenda Velha, Córrego da Paina, and Pau D'Óleo formations), and clastic sedimentary rocks of the Maquiné Group (Andaimes Formation). Despite some remarkable differences between these blocks, it is possible to recognize stratigraphic correlations and similar depositional evolution. The authors suggest volcanic architecture and sedimentary depositional models for the studied area, which includes: i) fissure eruption of komatiite lavas of the Quebra Osso Group in the SB block with subordinate clasto-chemical sedimentation; ii) ultrabasic/basic volcanism related to multiple volcanic centers in a subaqueous environment, characteristic from the basal portion of the Nova Lima Group in the SB and NLC blocks; iii) intermediate to acid volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks from the Nova Lima Group, present only in the NLC block, related to explosive eruptions; iv) clasto-chemical sedimentation, well recorded in the SB block; v) thick sequence of clastic sediments recorded in the three blocks with a predominance of greywacke-argillite cycles, deposited by turbidity currents in tectonically active submarine basins; vi) metasediments formed in alluvial-fluvial, coastal and shallow marine environments of the Maquiné Group.

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Araújo, Joanna, Raianny Ferreira, Frederico Freitas, and Joana Magalhães. 2020. “The Archean Rio Das Velhas Greenstone Belt Revisited: New Insights into the Stratigraphy”. Journal of the Geological Survey of Brazil 3 (3):113-49.
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