Palaeomagnetic results from Upper Triassic red-beds and CAMP lavas of the Argana Basin, Morocco
Martijn Deenen, Cor Langereis, Wout Krijgsman, Hind El Hachimi, El Hassane Chellai, 2011. "Palaeomagnetic results from Upper Triassic red-beds and CAMP lavas of the Argana Basin, Morocco", The Formation and Evolution of Africa: A Synopsis of 3.8 Ga of Earth History, D. J. J. Van Hinsbergen, S. J. H. Buiter, T. H. Torsvik, C. Gaina, S. J. Webb
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The continental Argana Basin of Morocco is the trans-Atlantic counterpart of the extensively studied Fundy, Hartford and Newark basins in north-eastern America, that have provided the astrochronologically tuned geomagnetic polarity timescale (GPTS) for the late Triassic and earliest Jurassic. The Argana red-bed successions also show astronomically driven time control, which allowed trans-Atlantic correlations and revealed that the interval towards volcanism of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) is without any significant hiatuses. Here, we present palaeomagnetic results from the cyclically bedded upper Triassic red-beds and the intercalated volcanics associated with CAMP. Our composite Argana section comprises an interval of 3.5–4.0 Ma, but its magnetostratigraphic pattern does not allow a straightforward correlation to the Newark GPTS. The continental red-bed deposits of the Bigoudine Formation demonstrate a dominant magnetic overprint that could only be removed at temperatures above 600 °C. We suggest that this overprint could have been caused by a period of (Jurassic, c. 170 Ma) magmatism that caused pervasive overprinting of the Triassic palaeomagnetic signal. Correlations between the sections in the Tazantoute region are not straightforward, hampered by the presence of a magmatic sill. The CAMP lava sequences of Tazantoute are all of normal polarity and record secular variation in a manner that agrees with short-lived pulses of CAMP activity in Morocco. Our results indicate that the sedimentary successions of the Argana Basin have the potential to evaluate the Newark GPTS, but that detailed palaeomagnetic analyses of more suitable sections with long(er) cyclostratigraphic records are required.
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The African continent preserves a long geological record that covers almost 75% of Earth’s history. The Pan-Africanorogeny (c.600–500—Ma) brought together old continental kernels (West Africa, Congo, Kalahari and Tanzania) to form Gondwana and subsequently the supercontinent Pangaea by the late Palaeozoic. The break-up of Pangaea since the Jurassic and Cretaceous, primarily through opening of the Central Atlantic, Indian, and South Atlantic oceans, in combination with the complicated subduction history to the north, gradually shaped the African continent.
This volume contains 18 contributions that discuss the geology of Africa from the Archaean to the present day. It celebrates African geology in two ways: first, it highlights multidisciplinary Earth science research by viewing the formation and evolution of Africa from 18 different angles; second, it celebrates the work of Kevin Burke and Lewis Ashwal and portrays the wide range of interests and research angles that have characterized these two scientists throughout their careers, working in Africa, and studying African geology.