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Evidence for surface uplift of the Atlas Mountains and the surrounding peripheral plateaux: Combining apatite fission-track results and geomorphic indicators in the Western Moroccan Meseta (coastal Variscan Paleozoic basement)

Barbero González, Luis C. and Jabaloy Sánchez, Antonio and Gómez Ortiz, David and Pérez Peña, José Vicente and Rodríguez Peces, M.J. and Tejero López, Rosa María and Estupiñán Letamendi, Jenny and Azdimousa, A. and Vázquez Vílchez, Mercedes (2011) Evidence for surface uplift of the Atlas Mountains and the surrounding peripheral plateaux: Combining apatite fission-track results and geomorphic indicators in the Western Moroccan Meseta (coastal Variscan Paleozoic basement). Tectonophysics, 502 . pp. 90-104. ISSN 0040-1951

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Abstract

This work represents an initial attempt to link the evolution of the topography in relation to the general
tectonic framework of western Morocco. For this purpose, in a section of the Western Moroccan Meseta
different tools are combined in order to attain the general objective. Apatite fission-track (AFT) data of
granitic rocks of the Rabat–Khenifra area give ages around 200 Ma with track length distributions which are
compatible with the thermal models already established for the area. An inverse correlation between AFT
ages and elevation is observed which is compatible with previous models indicating northward tilting of the
whole Western Moroccan Meseta which is younger than 20–25 Ma. In order to test this possibility a detailed
analysis of the topography at different scales in the Western Moroccan Meseta has been performed. Results
indicate that two open folds with different amplitudes are recognized and that the one with wider
wavelength could correspond to a lithospheric fold as previously stated by other authors on the basis of
independent geological arguments. The northward tilting proposed based on the AFT data agrees with the
results obtained in the analysis of the topography which reinforces the presence of a very open fold with a
wavelength of 200–300 km in the north-western limb of the Western Moroccan Meseta.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Topography and 4D evolution; Low temperature thermochronology; Catchment hypsometry; Moroccan Atlasic–VariscanMeseta relationship
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Geodynamics
ID Code:17114
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:23
Last Modified:16 Nov 2012 10:23

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