New Developments in the Appalachian-Caledonian-Variscan Orogen
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
New analytical and field techniques, as well as increased international communication and collaboration, have resulted in significant new geological discoveries within the Appalachian-Caledonian-Variscan orogen. Cross-Atlantic correlations are more tightly constrained and the database that helps us understand the origins of Gondwanan terranes continues to grow. Special Paper 554 provides a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of the evolution of this orogen. It takes the reader along a clockwise path around the North Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. and Canadian Appalachians, to the Caledonides of Spitsbergen, Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland, and thence south to the Variscides of Morocco.
Detrital zircon sources in the Ordovician metasedimentary rocks of the Moroccan Meseta: Inferences for northern Gondwanan passive-margin paleogeography
Published:May 19, 2022
Cristina Accotto*, David Martínez Poyatos, Antonio Azor, Cristina Talavera, Noreen Joyce Evans, Antonio Jabaloy-Sánchez, Hassan El Hadi, Abdelfatah Tahiri, 2022. "Detrital zircon sources in the Ordovician metasedimentary rocks of the Moroccan Meseta: Inferences for northern Gondwanan passive-margin paleogeography", New Developments in the Appalachian-Caledonian-Variscan Orogen, Yvette D. Kuiper, J. Brendan Murphy, R. Damian Nance, Robin A. Strachan, Margaret D. Thompson
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Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology has been widely used to constrain the pre-Carboniferous geography of the European and, to a lesser extent, the Moroccan Variscides. The latter have been generally considered as part of a long-lasting passive margin that characterized northern Gondwana from Ordovician to Devonian time, and was subsequently involved in the late Paleozoic Variscan orogeny. We report detrital zircon ages for three Early to Late Ordovician samples from the Beni Mellala inlier in the northeastern part of the Western Moroccan Meseta in order to discuss the temporal evolution of the sources of sediments in this region. The detrital zircon spectra of these samples, characterized by two main populations with mean ages of 630–610 Ma and 2170–2060 Ma, are typical of Cambrian–Devonian rocks from the Moroccan Variscides and confirm their link to the West African craton. A minor Stenian–Tonian population (peak at ca. 970 Ma) suggests the influence of a distant and intermittent NE African source (Sahara metacraton), which was probably interrupted after Ordovician time. Our data support previous interpretations of the Moroccan Meseta (and the entire northern Moroccan Variscides) as part of the northern Gondwana passive margin. The main sources of these sediments would have been the West African craton in the western regions of the passive margin (Moroccan Meseta and central European Paleozoic massifs), and the Arabian-Nubian Shield and/or Sahara metacraton in the eastern areas (Libya, Egypt, Jordan, central and NW Iberian zones during Paleozoic time), where the 1.0 Ga detrital zircon population is persistent throughout the Ordovician–Devonian time span.