The External Tanger Unit (Intrarif sub-Domain, External Rifian Zones, Morocco): an interdisciplinary study

  • Soufian Maaté
  • Francisco Javier Alcalá
  • Francesco Guerrera
  • Rachid Hlila
  • Alí Maaté
  • Manuel Martín-MartínEmail author
  • Giuliana Raffaelli
  • Francisco Serrano
  • Mario Tramontana
Original Paper


The External Tanger Unit represents one of the most complete Cretaceous-Miocene successions in the central areas of the Internal Intrarif sub-Domain (External Rif Zones, Morocco). An interdisciplinary study has been carried out to propose a new characterization of this unit which would allow a better comprehension of the confused and complex relationships among different units of the same sub-domain. The results achieved can be summarized as follows: (1) redefinition of the stratigraphic (litho-, bio-, and chrono-) record and introduction of a new, informal lithostratigraphic terminology; (2) recognition of two main depositional sequences (lower-middle Eocene p.p. and lower Oligocene p.p.-lower Miocene p.p.) separated by extended gaps (latest Cretaceous-early Eocene p.p. and middle Eocene p.p.-early Oligocene p.p.); (3) reconstruction of the evolution of the sedimentary realm, and of the relationships between tectonics and sedimentation; and (4) comparison between the upper Cretaceous-Miocene stratigraphic record and tectonic events of the Intrarif, which is located in the western external portion of the Maghrebian Flysch Basin, and the equivalent sedimentary record of the eastern portion of this basin in the Tunisian Tell. More in general, our results allowed (i) a first reconstruction of the Cretaceous-Miocene main tectono-sedimentary events; (ii) a more detailed location of the sedimentary suite in the external African Margin in the context of a wider palaeogeographic framework; and (iii) the definition of the main stages of the geological evolution of the area.


Stratigraphic record Tectono-sedimentary events Cretaceous-Miocene External Rif Morocco 



Research supported by: Research Project CGL2016-75679-P, Spanish Ministry of Education and Science; Research Groups and Projects of the Generalitat Valenciana, Alicante University (CTMA-IGA); Research Group RNM 146, Junta de Andalucía; grants from the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, responsible M. Tramontana. The authors are indebted with two anonymous referees because their suggestions improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soufian Maaté
    • 1
  • Francisco Javier Alcalá
    • 2
    • 3
  • Francesco Guerrera
    • 4
  • Rachid Hlila
    • 1
  • Alí Maaté
    • 1
  • Manuel Martín-Martín
    • 2
    Email author
  • Giuliana Raffaelli
    • 4
  • Francisco Serrano
    • 5
  • Mario Tramontana
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géologie de l’Environnement et Ressources Naturelles, Département de GéologieUniversité Abdelmalek EssaâdiTétouanMorocco
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra y Medio AmbienteUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Ciencias Químicas Aplicadas, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad Autónoma de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate (DiSPeA)Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo BoUrbinoItaly
  5. 5.Departamento de Ecología y GeologíaUniversity of MálagaMálagaSpain

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