Linking the deep structures of the South American and African cratons by satellite gravity data

The cratons of South America and Africa once belonged together, forming the western part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. Very little is known about the lithospheric architecture of large parts of these cratons, because the data coverage of active and passive seismic studies is sparse. Additional data is required to understand the large-scale tectonics and the connection between the two continents. Gravity data from modern satellite missions offers vast advantages to study such remote frontiers due to consistency, accuracy and global coverage. In this thesis, satellite gravity gradients of the GOCE mission are used to study the deeper structure of the South American and African cratons. Innovative inversion methods are developed and adopted for the cratons of both continents and their ancient link through a Gondwana reconstruction.



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