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pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 161, Issue 3, pp 521–540 | Cite as

Recent Tectonic Deformations and Stresses in the Frontal Part of the Rif Cordillera and the Saïss Basin (Fes and Rabat Regions, Morocco)

  • K. Bargach
  • P. Ruano
  • A. Chabli
  • J. Galindo-ZaldÍvarEmail author
  • A. Chalouan
  • A. Jabaloy
  • M. Akil
  • M. Ahmamou
  • C. Sanzde Galdeano
  • M. Benmakhlouf
Article

Abstract

—Prerif Ridges are located at the frontal part of the Rif Cordillera, which develops at the Eurasian-African plate boundary. The ridges are formed by recent tectonic structures that also deform foreland basins (Saïss and Gharb basins) and the foreland (Moroccan Meseta). The position of the ridges is the consequence of inversion tectonics undergone in the area. The ENE-WSW trend of the northern edge of the Neogene Saïss basin is determined by the location of Mesozoic basins. Although Prerif ridges probably started to develop since the Early Miocene, the most active deformation phase affecting Pliocene rocks consisted of N-S to NW-SE oriented compression. Striated pebbles show that this compression has prolate stress ellipsoids. The deformation produces southwards vergent folds and NNW-SSE striae on reverse faults at the base of the ridges. The flexure of the Paleozoic basement by the emplacement of the Ridges produced extensional deformation and the development of the Saïss foreland basin. The extension in this basin is oblate and features a well determined NNE-SSW trend near the Ridges, whereas it becomes prolate and pluridirectional near the foreland edge represented by the Rabat region. This part of the Moroccan Meseta, commonly considered to be stable, is deformed by sets of orthogonal joints and faults with short slip that affect up to Quaternary sediments. Southwestward, the Meseta rocks are also deformed by transcurrent faults, which indicate NW-SE and N-S trends of compression. The NW-SE approximation of Eurasia and Africa determines a regional stress field with the same trend of compression. Regional stresses are notably disturbed by the development of the active structures in the Rif, which exhibit alternating trends of compression and extension. The clearest evidence of the relationship between the local deformation and the general plate motion is found at the deformation front of the Cordillera, that is, the Prerif Ridges.

Key words:

Prerif ridges Saïss Basin Moroccan Meseta recent and active tectonics paleostresses 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Bargach
    • 1
  • P. Ruano
    • 2
  • A. Chabli
    • 1
  • J. Galindo-ZaldÍvar
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. Chalouan
    • 1
  • A. Jabaloy
    • 2
  • M. Akil
    • 1
  • M. Ahmamou
    • 1
  • C. Sanzde Galdeano
    • 3
  • M. Benmakhlouf
    • 4
  1. 1.Département des Sciences de la Terre, Faculté des SciencesUniversité Mohammed VRabatMorocco
  2. 2.Departamento de GeodinámicaUniversidad de GranadaSpain
  3. 3.Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la TierraC.S.I.C.-Universidad de GranadaSpain
  4. 4.Département de GéologieMorocco

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