International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp 2209–2231 | Cite as

Along strike behavior of the Tizi n’ Firest fault during the Lower Jurassic rifting (Central High Atlas Carbonate basin, Morocco)

  • S. Sarih
  • A. QuiquerezEmail author
  • P. Allemand
  • J. P. Garcia
  • K. El Hariri
Original Paper


The purpose of this study is to document the along-strike early syn-rift history of the Lower Jurassic Carbonate basin of the Central High Atlas (Morocco) by combining sedimentological observations and high-resolution biostratigraphy. Six sections, each from the Sinemurian to the Upper Pliensbachian, were investigated along a 75 km-long transect at the hanging wall of a major fault of the Lower Jurassic Basin (i.e. the Tizi n’ Firest fault). Depositional geometries of the early syn-rift deposits were reconstructed from the correlation between eight main timelines dated by biochronological markers for a time span covering about 6 Ma. Depocentre migration was examined and accommodation rates were calculated at the sub-zone timescale to discuss the along-strike-fault behavior of the Lower Jurassic basin formation. The early stages of extension are marked by contrasted along-strike variations in depositional geometry thickness, depocentre migration and accommodation rates, leading to the growth of three independent sub-basins (i.e. western, central, and eastern), ranging in size from 30 to 50 km, and displaying three contrasted tectono-sedimentary histories. Our results suggest that, during the early rifting phase, tectonic activity was not a continuous and progressive process evolving towards a rift climax stage, but rather a series of acceleration periods that alternated with periods of much reduced activity. The length of active fault segments is estimated at about 15–20 km, with a lifespan of a few ammonite sub-zones (> 2–3 Ma).


Lower Jurassic Syn-rift Normal fault Along-strike Accommodation Morocco 



This work was supported financially by the French-Morocco “Action intégrée” MA 03/74, by the Burgundy Regional Council and the French CNRS. We are grateful to Carmela Chateau-Smith for proofreading the English. Useful comments and reviews from S. Bodin and J.-J Cornée were greatly appreciated and helped to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sarih
    • 1
  • A. Quiquerez
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Allemand
    • 3
  • J. P. Garcia
    • 2
  • K. El Hariri
    • 4
  1. 1.Université de Bourgogne, UMR CNRS Biogéosciences 6282, 6 Boulevard Gabriel21000 DijonFrance
  2. 2.Université de Bourgogne, UMR CNRS ARTEHIS 6298DijonFrance
  3. 3.Univ. Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ENS de Lyon, CNRS, UMR 5276 LGL-TPEVilleurbanneFrance
  4. 4.Université Cadi Ayyad, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques-Guéliz, Département des Sciences de la TerreMarrakechMorocco

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