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Structure and development of the southern Moroccan continental shelf

January 1, 1974

The structure of the continental shelf off southern Morocco was studied by means of 2,100 km of seismic reflection profiles, magnetic and bathymetric surveys, and dredge samples. The research area lies off four geologic divisions adjacent to the coast: the Atlas Mountains; the Souss Trough; the Anti-Atlas Mountains; and the Aaiun Basin. The continental shelf, along with the western Atlas Mountains, the western Souss Trough, and the entire Aaiun Basin, has subsided along a normal fault-flexure system. This system runs along the shore at the Anti-Atlas Mountains, and cuts off this cratonic block from the shelf subsidence. The shelf is narrow and characterized by out-building off the Anti-Atlas range, whereas it is broader and characterized by upbuilding to the north and south. Deposition was essentially continuous at least from Early Cretaceous through Eocene time. Published work suggests that the last cycle of sedimentation began during Permian rifting. After Eocene time, most sediments carried to the shelf must have bypassed it and gone to construct the slope and rise or to the deep sea. Tertiary orogenies caused extensive folding of Mesozoic and early Tertiary deposits off the Atlas Mountains.

    Publication Year 1974
    Title Structure and development of the southern Moroccan continental shelf
    DOI 10.1016/0025-3227(74)90004-8
    Authors William P. Dillon
    Publication Type Article
    Publication Subtype Journal Article
    Series Title Marine Geology
    Index ID 70010254
    Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
    USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center