Abstract

The Gondwana–Laurussia convergence process can be explored by studying the Middle Mississippian (Viséan) palynoflora of northwest Africa. Statistical analysis of the Viséan miospore assemblages reported from Morocco defines two populations, one with clear Laurussian affinity from the northern margin of the Western Meseta, and the other, more Gondwanan in composition, from the southern part of the Western Meseta and Anti-Atlas. Moreover, no transitional assemblages have been described from the region. These palynofloral variations are a consequence of the complex palaeogeography of the northwest African margin, which was controlled by the Variscan Orogeny during Viséan times. Taking into consideration the palynofloral affinity of the miospore assemblages reported throughout the entire North African margin and the Middle East, it is possible to envisage a Late Carboniferous Pangaea amalgamation process initially evolving from the west, while in the east the ocean separating Gondwana and Laurussia persisted as an effective barrier to floral migration.

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