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Van Tuyl Lecture: Faouziya Haissen, Universite Hassan II de Casablanca
September 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Faouziya Haissen, Universite Hassan II de Casablanca
241 Berthoud Hall, 4PM
Topic: The Geology of Morocco: A Record of 3 Billion Years of Earth’s History
Abstract: Morocco is located in the northwestern corner of the African continent, east of the Atlantic Ocean and south of the European plate. It records a rich geological history lasting from the Archean to the present. Since 2.0 Ga, foursuccessive orogenic cycles (Eburnean, Pan-African, Variscan and Alpine cycles) have shaped the geology and the topography of Morocco with a rich diversity of rocks, ancient and modern tectonic systems, natural resources, reliefs and fossils. Such richness has resulted in intense mining activity and the onshore and offshore exploration for oil and gas. Morocco is also the world’s leading exporter for phosphates and many other mineral resources.
Five geological domains are defined in Morocco from the South to the North: (1) The Saharian domain or Eburnean belt where Archean and Paleoproterozoic outcrops belonging to the West African Craton can be observed; (2) The Anti-Atlas domain or the Pan-African belt, witness of the Gondwana supercontinent assembly; this domain, located along the northern border of the cratonis marked by the presence of Neoproterozoic ophiolites and rich metallogenic provinces associated to Precambrien inliers; (3) The Meseta domain is a strongly deformed and metamorphosed domain with many granitic intrusions of Precambrian age,and part of the major Variscan orogen that resulted from the collision of Laurentia and Gondwana during the late Paleozoic; (4) The Atlas domain (High and Middle Atlas), two intracontinental chains formed by inversion of aborted rifts during the Alpine orogeny;and (5) The Rif domainor the Alpine belt,which is the western extremity of the large alpine orogen bordering the Mediterranean coast. This belt is marked mainly by the presence of an exotic allochtonous domain, the Alboran domain, which holds at its base one of the largest infracontinental mantle outcrops, was emplaced on the African margin during the alpine orogeny.