, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 941–962 | Cite as

Lithofacies and biostratigraphical correlation of marine Carboniferous rocks in the Tindouf Basin, NW Africa

  • P. CózarEmail author
  • A. García-Frank
  • I. D. Somerville
  • D. Vachard
  • S. Rodríguez
  • P. Medina-Varea
  • I. Said
Original Article


Spatial and temporal variations of Carboniferous sediment accumulation within the northwestern part of the northern flank of the Tindouf Syncline in Saharan Morocco allowed to distinguish 16 lithofacies types. The predominant sedimentation pattern is cyclic, with the overall succession recording a major regressive trend. Outer platform siliciclastics in the lower part (Tournaisian and Viséan) pass up to middle and inner platform mixed siliciclastic and carbonate sediments (late Viséan–Serpukhovian) and finally to continental sandstones in the Bashkirian capping the marine carbonate sedimentation. The lack of similarities in a correlation with southern outcrops in the Tindouf Syncline suggests tectonically controlled sedimentation. The upper Tournaisian to lower Bashkirian succession records the incipient uplift of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, changing the paleogeography and, therefore, affecting the paleoecologic conditions, as well as the sedimentary environments in the Tindouf Basin. It is suggested that from the Serpukhovian onwards, much of the Anti-Atlas was uplifted, leading to subaerial conditions, while during the late Viséan, only a few small inliers had emerged. Although the number of Proterozoic emergent inliers of the Anti-Atlas is unknown, during the late Viséan, the Anti-Atlas Mountain belt is regarded as an emerging structure, with a distinct influence on the paleobiogeography of the region.


Carboniferous Morocco Microfacies Depositional environments Tectonics Biostratigraphic correlation 



We would like to thank Dr Elias Samankassou and an anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments. We are also grateful to Franz Fürsich for his editorial expertise. Fieldwork funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (research project CGL2012-30922BTE) was carried out thanks to the collaboration of the Department of Mine Development of the Ministère de l’Energie et des Mines of Morocco.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Cózar
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. García-Frank
    • 2
  • I. D. Somerville
    • 3
  • D. Vachard
    • 4
  • S. Rodríguez
    • 2
  • P. Medina-Varea
    • 2
  • I. Said
    • 5
  1. 1.Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC, UCM)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de PaleontologíaUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.UCD School of Geological SciencesUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  4. 4.Université de Lille 1, UMR 8217 du CNRS: GéosystèmesVilleneuve d’AscqFrance
  5. 5.Division du Patrimoine Géologique (DPG), Direction du Développement Minier (DDM)Ministère de l’Énergie, des Mines, de l’Eau et de l’EnvironnementRabatMorocco

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