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Fracture system and associated structures within the Variscan granitic Ment massif (western Moroccan Meseta): an integrated mapping approach

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Abstract

In the Central Massif of the Moroccan Western Meseta, the Aguelmous-Ment Permian granitic pluton intruded in the Carboniferous flysch formations is affected by an important late Variscan compressive stage. This post-tectonic granite massif (~ 100 km2 in outcrop area) underwent striking fracture networks at different scales. Despite their scientific interests, detailed mapping and characterization of the tectonic records remain elusive. The main purpose of this study is to fill this gap through investigating (i) the fracture distribution, (ii) the statistical occurrence of lineaments, and (iii) the tectonics paleostress, in order to provide detailed geological and structural maps. For this goal, several approaches are integrated, including remote sensing, geographic information system (GIS), field microstructural, and schistosity analyses. Analysis of fracturing through (i) Landsat 8 Oli imagery processing for automatic (principal component analysis PC1) and manual extraction (Color composites 432 and 467) of lineaments and (ii) the GIS, which leads to reconstruct synthetic fracture map accounting for 736 lineaments. The main results are as follows: (i) both fractures and schistosity S1 are dominantly directed NE-SW and WNW-ESE; (ii) the density map exhibits an irregular geospatial distribution of lineaments, with the fractures being essentially confined in the competent zones of the granitic pluton or controlled by the paleofaults in the country metasedimentary rocks. Overall, these new results indicate also those compressive polyphase tectonics represented by sinistral N160–170 and N10–30, and dextral N110–120 and N60–80 directed dextral strike slips affected the Ment Variscan granitic pluton. These tectonic structures are consistent with the dominant regional tectonic event that occurred at the final stage of the Variscan Permian orogenic phase.

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Acknowledgements

We thank US Geological Survey (USGS) for the Landsat 8 Oli image used in this work. The authors thank also the (anonymous) for reviewing this article.

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The first author would like to thank the support of the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST), which funded this work within the framework of the research excellence scholarship program.

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Ait Baha, A., Amri, I., El Kadiri, K. et al. Fracture system and associated structures within the Variscan granitic Ment massif (western Moroccan Meseta): an integrated mapping approach. Arab J Geosci 15, 1159 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-022-10371-4

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