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Mauretanian flysch nappe in the northwestern Rif Cordillera (Morocco): deformation chronology and evidence for a complex nappe emplacement

By
A. Chalouan
A. Chalouan
1
Université Mohammed V-Agdal, Faculté des Sciences, Dep. Geology, BP 1014, Rabat, Morocco (e-mail: chalouan@fsr.ac.ma)
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A. El Mrihi
A. El Mrihi
2
Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, Faculté des Sciences, Dep. Geology, BP 2121, 93003 Tetuan, Morocco
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Kh. El Kadiri
Kh. El Kadiri
2
Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, Faculté des Sciences, Dep. Geology, BP 2121, 93003 Tetuan, Morocco
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A. Bahmad
A. Bahmad
3
Société Nationale d’Etudes du Détroit, (SNED), 31 r. Al Alaouyine, Rabat, Morocco
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F. Salhi
F. Salhi
4
Université Chouaib Doukali, Faculté des Sciences, El Jadida, Morocco
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R. Hlila
R. Hlila
2
Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, Faculté des Sciences, Dep. Geology, BP 2121, 93003 Tetuan, Morocco
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Published:
January 01, 2006

Abstract

This study deals with the Mauretanian flysch nappe in the southern side of the Gibraltar Strait, NW of the Rif belt (Morocco), where it is possible to better appraise the stacking pattern of its two structural components (the Tisirene and Béni Ider nappes), and to decipher the chronology of deformation and its structural relationships with the overlying (Predorsalian and Numidian nappes) and the underlying nappes (Melloussa and Intrarif units). It is found that the main deformations were produced by an intermittent compressional regime, during which north-south- to NW-SE-directed compressional phases alternated with ENE-WSW to east-west-directed compressional ones. Whereas the former were generated by the Africa–Iberia convergence and resulted in small-scale thrusts and a brittle deformation style, the latter were driven by the west-drifting Alboran plate and resulted in paroxysmal fold–thrust deformations. Field evidence shows that the emplacement of the Mauretanian nappe over the Massylian one and the Intrarif units operated by interrelated compressional and gravitational processes, by virtue of which the majority of nappes stacked in an out-of-sequence regime. The precise age of the paroxysmal phases remains uncertain because of paucity or absence of direct stratigraphical data. However, this structural evolution is likely to have started as early as the mid-Burdigalian, when sedimentation synchronously ceased in the flysch trough. Its final phases may be placed precisely between the Langhian (N8) age of the most recent formations overlapped by these nappes and the late Tortonian age of the oldest formations transgressively covering them.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Tectonics of the Western Mediterranean and North Africa

G. Moratti
G. Moratti
CNR-Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, Italy
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A. Chalouan
A. Chalouan
University of Mohammed V Agdal, Rabat, Morocco
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Geological Society of London
Volume
262
ISBN electronic:
9781862395107
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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