Abstract

The Tindouf Basin was a broad, east-west trending, gently subsiding trough through middle and late Paleozoic time. During the Silurian and Devonian periods, over 4,000 m of marine shales, sandstones, and limestones accumulated. In the early Carboniferous period neritic and barrier facies sandstones were deposited in the northern extremities of the basin. These were succeeded, in mid-Carboniferous time, by a southeasterly prograding fluvio-deltaic complex. Late Paleozoic sedimentation was the result of gentle uplift and concomitant erosion of the Anti-Atlas region, resulting in folding and cannibalism of earlier sediments and low grade metamorphics. The Reguibat and Ougarta structures formed tectonically quiescent subaqueous areas throughout the middle and late Paleozoic. The Tindouf Basin and proximal regions form a substantial part of the Paleozoic of northwest Africa. Therefore, its tectonic and depositional fabric must be rationalized within the framework of any proposed reconstruction of Pangea.

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