Growth forms and palaeoenvironmental interpretation of stromatoporoids in a Middle Devonian reef, southern Morocco (west Sahara)
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Growth forms of well-preserved stromatoporoids, including genera Actinostroma, Stachyodes, and Stromatopora, are described for the first time from the Devonian Sabkhat Lafayrina reef complex of southern Morocco (west Sahara), one of the best exposed Middle-Devonian stromatoporoid-dominated fossil reefs. Three facies types representing the well illuminated fore-reef, reef-core and transition to back-reef facies display the distribution and growth of stromatoporoids in a high latitude setting at 40–50° south of the palaeoequator. Stromatoporoids are largely in growth position and reflect the well-preserved reef architecture. Although outcrops are low topography, the reef's prominent profile is indicated by presence of spur and groove form and a clearly defined reef margin. Stromatoporoids are mostly laminar and domical forms, with little evidence of ragged margins, and indicate normal turbulence shallow waters, with low sediment deposition.