Abstract

In this paper, we present the first palaeomagnetic data (51 sites) for Mesozoic (Lower–Middle Jurassic) sediments of the Moroccan Central High Atlas and address the study of a widespread remagnetization. The remagnetization is characterized by a very stable component with systematic normal polarity, carried by magnetite. The relationship between the magnetic properties and location within the basin suggests that the acquisition of the remagnetization is controlled by basin geometry. Fold-tests indicate that the overprint acquisition is syn-folding in some structures but clearly predates the Tertiary compressional stage. Using the small circle intersection method we have calculated the remagnetization direction (D = 336.4°, I = 29.2°). Comparison with the global apparent polar wander path indicates that the remagnetization was acquired during the Late Cretaceous (probably Cenomanian). Considering both the basinal confinement of remagnetization and the connection with other remagnetization events in the western Tethys, we propose a scenario explaining widespread remagnetizations in the region, concerning both basin-scale conditions mainly related to sediment thickness and a regional-scale thermal event acting as catalyst of remagnetizations in those sedimentary basins that satisfy the basin-scale conditions.

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