Petrography and geochemistry of Cretaceous to quaternary siliciclastic rocks in the Tarfaya basin, SW Morocco: implications for tectonic setting, weathering, and provenance

Ali, Sajid, Stattegger, Karl, Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter, Kuhnt, Wolfgang, Kluth, Oliver and Jabour, Haddou (2014) Petrography and geochemistry of Cretaceous to quaternary siliciclastic rocks in the Tarfaya basin, SW Morocco: implications for tectonic setting, weathering, and provenance International Journal of Earth Sciences, 103 (1). pp. 265-280.

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Abstract

The petrography, heavy mineral analysis, major element geochemical compositions and mineral chemistry of Early Cretaceous to Miocene-Pliocene rocks, and recent sediments of the Tarfaya basin, SW Morocco, have been studied to reveal their depositional tectonic setting, weathering history, and provenance. Bulk sediment compositional and mineral chemical data suggest that these rocks were derived from heterogeneous sources in the Reguibat Shield (West African Craton) including the Mauritanides and the western Anti-Atlas, which likely form the basement in this area. The Early Cretaceous sandstones are subarkosic in composition, while the Miocene-Pliocene sandstones and the recent sediments from Wadis are generally carbonate-rich feldspathic or lithic arenites, which is also reflected in their major element geochemical compositions. The studied samples are characterized by moderate SiO2 contents and variable abundances of Al2O3, K2O, Na2O, and ferromagnesian elements. Binary tectonic discrimination diagrams demonstrate that most samples can be characterized as passive continental marginal deposits. Al2O3/Na2O ratios indicate more intense chemical weathering during the Early Cretaceous and a variable intensity of weathering during the Late Cretaceous, Early Eocene, Oligocene-Early Miocene, Miocene-Pliocene and recent times. Moreover, weathered marls of the Late Cretaceous and Miocene-Pliocene horizons also exhibit relatively low but variable intensity of chemical weathering. Our results indicate that siliciclastics of the Early Cretaceous were primarily derived from the Reguibat Shield and the Mauritanides, in the SW of the basin, whereas those of the Miocene-Pliocene had varying sources that probably included western Anti-Atlas (NE part of the basin) in addition to the Reguibat Shield and the Mauritanides.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 1 0 1
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1437-3254
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2015 11:56
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 12:32
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/27109

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