The great south Atlas fault and the south Aures fault in north Africa together constitute the great north Sahara fault which represents the boundary between Barbary to the north and the Sahara complex to the south. From the Triassic to the Cretaceous the Sahara was relatively higher than Barbary. Uplift to the north of the fault began shortly before the Eocene and increased during successive stages, accompanied by more intensive folding until finally Barbary was a mountainous region more elevated than the Sahara.

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