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Fachgebiet Paläontologie und Historische GeologieThe Early Evolution of the Equatorial Atlantic

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The Early Evolution of the Equatorial Atlantic

The Project


Volkswagen-Stiftung Program of Partnerships:

Joint Research Projects in the Natural, Engineering and Economic Sciences with Institutes in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Latest News:

Scientific contribution and participation in the 40th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Publication of the Potiguar Excursion and VW Interim Report is online!


Nigerian and Brazilian coastal basin development during the formation of the early South Atlantic: Evolution of Dahomey (Nigeria-Togo) and Potiguar (NE Brazil) Basins with respect to processes of sedimentation, paleo-environments and paleo-oceanology during Late Cretaceous to Paleogene (Tertiary) times and the resource potentials.


Prof. Dr. B.-D. Erdtmann (TU Berlin)
Prof. Dr. S.O. Akande (University of Ilorin)
P.D. Dr. Eduardo A.M. Koutsoukos (Cidade Universitária) 

Within this proposed joint research project, scientists of three countries (Brazil, Nigeria, Germany) shall apply field-, literature and laboratory studies for the documentation of the processes and stages involved in the evolution of sedimentary successions of the Dahomey (Nigeria) and Potiguar (Brazil) Basins. Due to a currently poor state of knowledge concerning the depositional history of these two basins, the proposed project has the character of a “pilot study”. The Campanian (Cretaceous) to Paleocene (Tertiary) interval has been chosen because continental separation of West Africa and South America reached a stage at which individual basin development may have dominated, subsequent to structural arrangements.

Processes and principal potential resources related to at least the three major stages of sedimentation during (i) the intracratonic, (ii) rifting and (iii) marine stages of development of individual basins will be characterized by means of standard techniques including facies models and correlation across the pristine Guinea Branch of the South Atlantic. Depositional models for the sedimentation of conglomerates, sandstones, black shales, limestones and phosphorites will provide new ideas for hydrocarbon exploration and other important raw material (e.g the phosphate) occurrences.


VW Interim Report   
Field Seminar in the Potiguar and Pernambuco-Paraíba basins 4th to 13th of August 2003:
ABSTRACTS of the 40th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE in Maiduguri, Nigeria, March 2004



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