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Jurassic carbonate facies of the Central and Eastern High Atlas rift, Morocco

  • High And Middle Atlas
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The Atlas System of Morocco

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences ((LNEARTH,volume 15))

Abstract

The present Central and Eastern High Atlas mountains of southern Morocco represent a short-lived Mesozoic rift, 500 × 100 km, associated with an ancient fracture zone between the Saharan Craton to the south and the smaller microplate mesetas to the north. A continental rift opened in the Upper Triassic, accumulating redbeds, evaporites and basalts. Marine carbonate deposits were initiated abruptly in the Lower Liassic, and continued until the Middle Dogger, when the basin ceased to subside and became continental again.

In addition to regional subsidence and eustatic sealevel changes, individual fault blocks of the rift contain stratigraphic sequences that mirror the tectonic history of that block. A representative tectonic-stratigraphic geotraverse, transverse across the middle of the range, crosses a southern shore and shelf, southern deep, central platform, northern deep and northern shore and shelf.

Blocks representing paleogeographic shelves exhibit stratigraphic sections of shallow-marine limestones and reefs. Adjacent deeps contain thicker sections of allodapic limestones, other gravity deposits, and carbonate olistostromes. A central platform possesses a Liassic upward-shallowing sequence capped by gigantic coralgal buildups.

The sequences on all the fault blocks are punctuated by Toarcian marls, representing a eustatic sealevel rise followed by upward-shoaling Aalenian and Bajocian sequences. Post-Jurassic uplift and tectonic inversion created the superb exposures of the modern Central and Eastern High Atlas.

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Volker H. Jacobshagen

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© 1988 Springer-Verlag

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Warme, J.E. (1988). Jurassic carbonate facies of the Central and Eastern High Atlas rift, Morocco. In: Jacobshagen, V.H. (eds) The Atlas System of Morocco. Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, vol 15. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/BFb0011593

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BFb0011593

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