A New Synthetic Geological Map of the Tuareg Shield: An Overview of Its Global Structure and Geological Evolution

  • J.-P. LiégeoisEmail author
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


Here is presented a geological map of the Tuareg Shield (Algeria, Mali, Niger), based on the various available geological maps, which are often old and uneasily available, and on the various papers published during the last decades that give mapping or geochronological information. This work has been initiated by the new geological map of Africa at the scale of 1/10,000,000 for which a largely simplified version has been used. The present map focuses on the age of the large magmatic units and of their basement, including the age of the major reactivations that may have affected them. The publication here of this georeferenced map at an appropriate resolution will be useful for future studies at both local and regional scales but also allows to synthetize and discuss the different concepts that have been applied to the Tuareg Shield: the terrane structure, for which some modifications are proposed, the localization of the different Paleoproterozoic orogenies, of the Neoproterozoic juvenile terranes and of the Pan-African reactivation of the old blocks that generated metacratonic terranes or associations of terranes. This map allows also to visualize the eastern margin of the West African craton and the western margin of the Saharan metacraton and the influence of the Murzukian orogeny. Finally, different provinces, separated by oceans prior to the Pan-African orogeny are proposed as well as a global model for their amalgamation.


Trans-Saharan belt Tuareg terrane structure Geodynamical model Metacratons 



Mohamed Laghmouch (RMCA) is warmly thanked for his skilled help in the GIS processing. Reviewers Jean Boissonnas and Abderrahmane Bendaoud are thanked for their careful and expert suggestions that nicely enhanced the streamline and the clarity of the paper. I would like to warmly thank all the Algerian, French and other colleagues, most often friends, with whom I worked, and discussed so passionately and so efficiently, especially with the USTHB team of Algiers with which I had an extremely tight and friendly collaboration. I cannot cite all of them here, they are too numerous but a series of them are present in the references, even if all are not cited. Obviously, this paper is based on many papers made by generations of geologists since the pioneering work of C. Kilian and M. Lelubre until the work of the young enthusiastic generation. However, I would like to cite here colleagues and close friends who did outstanding work in the Tuareg Shield and sadly have already left us, Russell Black, Jimmy Bertrand and Louis Latouche. They belong, of course, to the team that developed the terrane concept in the Tuareg Shield a quarter of a century ago. Finally, I am eager to see the developments that the current skillful young Algerian geologists will accomplish concerning the amazing Tuareg Shield geology the following years, hoping that this contribution will be a useful tingle.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geodynamics and Mineral Resources UnitRoyal Museum for Central AfricaTervurenBelgium

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