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Pan-African Fluid Flow Reconstruction in the Lufilian Arc (Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia): A study Using Quantitative Fluid Inclusion Analysis and Isotope Modelling


Several international research programs that were conducted during the past decade, have impeded interest towards Central African geology. Fluid flow constitutes an important aspect of this evolution since it is responsible for the mobility of chemical mass through the evolving sedimentary basins and for the formation of economic metal concentrations in these basins. Until the present day, however, this aspect has not seriously been investigated in the sedimentary sequences of the deformed Lufilian arc in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia. The proposal focuses upon the fluid chemistry and fluid flow reconstruction during the geodynamic evolution of this erogenic belt by investigating the eye-catching relics of the fluid migration, i.e. ore deposits. For this purpose, fluid inclusions in ore and gangue minerals will be quantitatively analysed by state-of-the-art analytical techniques, such as miniaturised crush-leach analysis and Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Fluid inclusion analyses will be framed by detailed pétrographie and geochemical studies of the host rocks, ore and gangue minerals. Additional information on the timing of fluid migration and on the origin and evolution of the fluids will be obtained by radiogenic (Rb-Sr, U-Pb) and stable isotope analysis (Sr, O, C) of the host minerals and rocks. The proposal aims to provide a thorough training of the applicant in these analytical techniques in order to qualify him for further specialised academic research on the subject. In addition, the proposal intends to strengthen academic synergy between African and European research institutions in order to integrate the fluid flow dimension in the evolution of the Lufilian arc during the Gondwana supercontinent assembly at the end of the Proterozoic. The latter is indispensable in providing the scientific basis for natural resource management and sustainable development in Central Africa.

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United Kingdom