As part of our South Atlantic Digital Atlas we are finding out new important features about the early history of the South Atlantic margins. We have made a detailed animated video of the opening of the South Atlantic in conjunction with Dr. Colin Reeves, Earthworks, Delft, Netherlands, and Dr. Alan Smith, University of Cambridge, UK.

Our latest findings include:

• The earliest marine influence in the SouthAtlantic is during the pre-salt sag phase in the latest Barremian
(abstract Davison Bate & Reeves. 2004).

• The first marine influx was from the north and brought Tethyan ostracods and stemless crinoids of Tethyan affinity (Davison et al. 2004).


• The Aptian salt basin consists of several individual sub-basins with different ages of salt. ranging from 123-124 Ma to 112-113 Ma (Davison and Jones 2005). (South Atlantic SALT BASIN diagram as .PDF )

• The last land bridge between South America and Africa was along the Romanche Fracture Zone in the Barreirinhas Ghana Basins, and not as previously believed in the Pernambuco-Niger delta area.

Davison, I., 1988. Comment on ‘The Northeastern Brazil-Gabon Basins: a double rifting system associated with multiple crustal detachment surfaces by A.C.M. Castro Jr’. Tectonics, 7, 1385-1391.

Milani, E.J., & Davison, I., 1988. Basement control and transfer tectonics in the Reconcavo-Tucano-Jatobá Rift, Brazil. Tectonophysics, 154, 41-70.

Davison, I., 2005. Tectonics of Brazilian Salt Basins. GCSSEPM Houston, Annual Bob Perkins Research Conference, Houston Texas, Dec. 4th-7th 2005, 468-480

Davison, I., 1991. Brazil’s many sedimentary basins offer exploration targets. Oil and Gas Journal, August 5th, 52-56.

Magnavita, L.P., Davison, I., & Kusznir, N., 1994. Rifting, erosion and uplift in Recôncavo-Tucano-Jatobá Rift, NE Brazil. Tectonics, 13, 367-388.

Davison, I., 1997. Wide and narrow margins in the South Atlantic. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 154, 471-476.

Davison, I., 1999. Tectonics and hydrocarbon distribution along the Brazilian South Atlantic margin. In: Cameron et al., (Eds.), Oil and Gas Habitats of the South Atlantic. Special Publication of Geological Society of London. 153, 133-151.

Davison, I., 2007. Geology and tectonics of the South Atlantic Brazilian salt basins.  In: Reis, A., Butler, R.W.H., and Graham, R.H., (Eds.), Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward, Special Publication Geological Society London, 272, 345-359.

Davison, I., Anderson, L., Nuttall, P., 2012.  Salt deposition, loading and gravity drainage in the Campos and Santos Salt Basins. In:  Alsop,G. I., Archer, S. G.,Hartley, A. J.,Grant, N. T. & Hodgkinson, R. (eds) Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, no. 363, 159–173.