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.
|Title||Structure and development of the southern Moroccan continental shelf|
|Authors||William P. Dillon|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Marine Geology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center|