Palaeomagnetic and AMS study of the Tarfaya coastal basin, Morocco: an early Turonian palaeopole for the African plate
Vicente Carlos Ruiz-Martínez, Alicia Palencia-Ortas, Juan José Villalaín, Gregg Mclntosh, Fátima Martín-Hernández, 2011. "Palaeomagnetic and AMS study of the Tarfaya coastal basin, Morocco: an early Turonian palaeopole for the African plate", 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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An early Turonian (c. 93 Ma) anoxic, cyclic marine deposition is registered in the unfolded outcrops from the Tarfaya coastal basin, where very high sedimentation rates enable the investigation of past geomagnetic field record at high temporal resolution. One hundred and fourteen samples have been sampled along a 10.5 m vertical profile (c. 200–500 ka) of orbital-scale forced sedimentation. Rock magnetic investigations reveal mineralogy principally controlled by diamagnetic and paramagnetic behaviour, along with very low concentrations of low-coercivity ferromagnetic material which is probably magnetite. A well-defined magnetic fabric can be seen with the minimum susceptibility axis perpendicular to the foliation plane, and magnetic lineation compatible with NW African palaeostress since sedimentation times and/or the palaeocurrent associated with upwelling system deposition. Magnetic signature has the potential for performing reliability checks of reversed tiny wiggles, which were found in four samples not considered for the tectonic analysis. Alternating field demagnetization shows a single, stable, low-coercivity directional component. The new palaeopole (N=88; PLat=64.3°, PLon=256.3°, A95=2.5°; K=38.7), obtained after moderate (f=0.8) inclination flattening correction, is the first early Turonian palaeopole for the NW African Craton. It can contribute to the 90 Ma-centred sliding window of the different proposed synthetic Apparent Polar Wander Paths.
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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.