Aerial interference of Hercynian folds and their morphological peculiarities in the Bani Geopark of southern Morocco

  • Sanae BerredEmail author
  • Driss Fadli
  • Khadija Berred
Original Paper


The Bani Geopark of southern Morocco belongs to the chain of Anti-Atlas; it is characterized by a very heterogeneous ductile deformation, materialized by the succession of two Hercynian folding phases. The latter were controlled by Precambrian basement fractures that played into normal faults that replayed in reverse faults at the end of the Hercynian orogeny. It will be shown that this adaptation of the base to the cover propagates and amortizes laterally and vertically, giving rise to a very heterogeneous deformation. In the Tata-Akka region, the interference of these two phases of folding is spectacular in aerial view. In several places, it has generated structural patterns, some of which are known as “egg tray,” which show a great diversity of relief shapes after erosion processes. Other interference patterns recall the shape of mushrooms belonging to the second type according to the Ramsay classification. Of these facts, it presents a scientific interest for the researchers, esthetic for the geotourism, and educational in the field of Earth sciences. In this work, we will first highlight the general characteristics of the two phases of folding in the Tata-Akka area; then, we will try, through a scientific mediation, in a tourist perspective, to understand the origin, singularity, and value of forms of relief involved in this type of deformation. It is also a question of showing the pedagogical integration concerning the close relations between the folded geological structure and the formation of relief in the potential tourist circuits of the Bani Geopark of southern Morocco.


Southern Morocco Anti-Atlas Bani Geopark Fold interference Geomorphosites Scientific mediation 


  1. André R, Marques R, Neto de Carvalho C, Rodrigues J, Jacinto A, Preguiça C (2011) Naturtejo Geopark signage Project: the structure of the touring offer in a large territory. In: Rangnes K (ed) Proceedings of the 10th European Geoparks Conference. Porsgrunn, Norway, p 31Google Scholar
  2. Baidder L, Michard A, Soulaimani A, Fekkak A, Eddebbi A, Rjimati EC, Raddi Y (2016) Fold interference pattern in thick-skinned tectonics; a case study from the external Variscan belt of Eastern Anti-Atlas, Morocco. J Afr Earth Sci 119:204–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bertrand-Sarfati J, Moussine-Pouchkine A, Affaton P, Trompette R, Bellion Y (1991) Cover sequences of the West African Craton. In: Dallmeyer RD, Lecorche JP (eds) The West African orogens and circum Atlantic correlatives. Springer- Verlag, Berlin, pp 65–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Caritg S, Burkhard M, Documun R, Helg U, Kopp L, Sue C (2004) Fold interference patterns in the late Palaeozoic Anti-Atlas Belt of Morocco. Terra Nova 16:27–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choubert G (1952) Histoire géologique du domaine de l’Anti-Atlas. In : Géologie du Maroc, 19è congrès géol. intern. Alger. Monogr. Rég.3è série Maroc. N°6 ; et. Notes et Mèm serv géol Maroc N° 100:75–194Google Scholar
  6. Choubert G (1963) Histoire géologique du Précambrien de l’Anti-Atlas. Notes Mémoires Service Géologique Maroc 162:l–352Google Scholar
  7. Daigneault R (1991) Déformation et cisaillement, concepts et applications. Edition de l’université du Québec à Chicoutimi N° DV 89–16, 49Google Scholar
  8. Faik F (2005) Lithostratigraphie et structures de L’Anti-Atlas centre-occidental : du rifting fini-Protérozoïque a l’orogenèse hercynienne. Thèse de Doctoratès -sciences ; Université Ibn Zohr, Faculté des Sciences, AgadirGoogle Scholar
  9. Faik F, Belfoul MA, Bouabdelli M, Hassenforder B (2001) Les structures de la couverture Néoprotérozoïque terminal et Paléozoïque de la région de Tata (Anti-Atlas,centre-occidental, Maroc). Déformation poly-phasée, ou interactions socle/couverture pendant l’orogenèse hercynienne ? J Afr Earth Sci 32(4):765–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Farsani N, Coelho C, Costa C (2013) Rural geotourism: a new tourism product. Acta Geoturistica 4(2):1–10Google Scholar
  11. Gidon M (1987) Les structures tectoniques, BRGM Manuels et Méthodes N°15. 206Google Scholar
  12. Grujic D (1993) The influence of initial fold geometry on type 1 and type 2 interference patterns: an experimental approach. J Struct Geol 15:293e307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hassenforder B (1987) La tectonique panafricaine et varisque de l’Anti-Atlas dans le massif du Kerdous, Maroc Unpubl Thesis Doct Etat Univ Strasbourg, 220Google Scholar
  14. Ikenne et al (2017) A c. 1710 Ma mafic sill emplaced into a quartzite and calcareous series from Ighrem, Anti-Atlas – Morocco: evidence that the Taghdout passive margin sedimentary group is nearly 1 Ga older than previously thought. J Afr Earth Sci 127:62–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jeannette D (1981) Influence des structures panafrrcaines sur les deformations hercyniennes, bordure septentrionale de la boutonniere d’lgherm, Anti-Atlas occrdental. Notes Memoires Service Geologique Maroc 32:25–3 1Google Scholar
  16. McKeever P, Zouros N, Patzak M (2010) The UNESCO global network of national geoparks. In: Dowling RK ND (ed) Geotourism: the tourism of geology and landscape. Good fellow publishers, Oxford, pp 222–230Google Scholar
  17. Odonne F, Vialon P (1987) Hinge migration as a mechanism of superimposed folding. J Struct Geol 9(7):835–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ramsay JG (1967) Interference patterns produced by the superimposition of folds of “similar” type. J Geol 60:466e481Google Scholar
  19. Ramsay JG, Huber MI (1987) The techniques of modern structural geology, 2; Folds and Fractures. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Rodrigues J (2012) Pedagogical geosciences tools to explain Naturtejo Geopark in both nonformal and formal environments ambientes formales e informales. Conference Paper: Publlcacicees del Serninario d Paleontología de Zaragoza, n°10. January 2012 DOI:
  21. Soulaimani A, Bouabdelli M, Piqué A (2003) L’extension continentale au Néoprotérozoïque supérieur-Cambrien inférieur dans l’Anti-Atlas (Maroc). Bull Soc Géol France 174:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Thiessen RL (1986) Two-dimensional refold interference patterns. J Struct Geol 8(5):563–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Thiessen RL, Means WD (1980) Classification of fold interference patterns: a reexamination. J Struct Geol 2:311e316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Thomas RJ, Fekkak A, Ennih N, Errami E, Loughlin SC, Gresse PG, Chevallier LP, Liégeois JP (2004) A new lithostratigraphic framework for the Anti-Atlas Orogen, Morocco. J Afr Earth Sci 39:217–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Villeneuve M, Cornee JJ (1994) Structure, evolution and palaeogeography of the West African Craton and bordering belts during the Neoproterozoic. Precambrian Res 69:307–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wartiti ME, Malaki A, Zahraoui M, Di Gregorio F, De Waele J (2009) Geosites and touristic development of the northwestern tabular middle atlas of Morocco. In: Marini A., Talbi M. (eds) Desertification and risk analysis using high and medium resolution satellite data. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences Rabat, Laboratory of Geoscience, Water and EnvironmentMohammed V UniversityRabatMorocco
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences Rabat, Tourism Engineering Laboratory, Heritage and Sustainable Development of the TerritoriesMohammed V UniversityRabatMorocco

Personalised recommendations