Palaeobiogeographical constraints on the distribution of foraminifers and rugose corals in the Carboniferous Tindouf Basin, South Morocco



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Somerville, Ian D. and Cózar Maldonado, Pedro and Said, Ismail and Vachard, Daniel and Medina Varea, Paula and Rodríguez García, Sergio (2013) Palaeobiogeographical constraints on the distribution of foraminifers and rugose corals in the Carboniferous Tindouf Basin, South Morocco. Journal of Palaeogeography, 2 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 2095-3836

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The northern flank of the Tindouf Syncline in southern Morocco exhibits a continuous, well exposed Carboniferous succession with limestones of Late Asbian to Early Bashkirian age containing rich and diverse foraminiferal and rugose coral assemblages. Analysis of these assemblages provides new data on the relatively poorly known Saharan basins. The palaeobiogeographical relationship of the Tindouf Basin with other Palaeotethyan basins is complex. Although there is a predominance of cosmopolitan taxa for the Palaeotethys, it is recognized that there was an influence of basins from NW Europe, such as the UK and Ireland. Some taxa are recorded in both NW Europe and Tindouf without any characteristic contributions from intermediate basins in northern Morocco. The neighbouring Béchar Basin in Algeria presents distinct assemblages. The bulk of the data analyzed suggest that this sector of the western Palaeotethys can be subdivided into four palaeobiogeographical subprovinces: the Atlantic Subprovince (UK, Ireland, N France and Belgium), the Mediterranean Subprovince (Pyrenees, Montagne Noire, Betic Cordillera, Rif (N Morocco) and Balearic Islands), and the Saharan Subprovince (Béchar, Reggan, Ahnet-Mouydir and Tindouf). In between, mobile belts of mixed faunal assemblage characteristics are observed (e.g., SW Spain and Central Meseta) forming the West peri-Gondwanan Subprovince. Analysis of the Tindouf Basin faunas shows that, as in other Saharan basins, there is a high diversity and abundance of foraminiferal taxa, with a higher proportion of survivors and longer stratigraphic ranges; these features also are mirrored by rugose corals. This emphasizes the longevity of the carbonate platform in a tropical setting, where periodic transgressions introduced new assemblages, and oceanic currents are interpreted as one of the main controlling factors for the distribution of the taxa in these subprovinces. Moreover, not only were water temperatures on the platform higher, but also tectonic stability greater. It is considered that the effects of the first phases of the Gondwanan glaciation were minimal on the Tindouf faunas.

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Received 13 September 2012 / Accepted 1 November 2012 / Available online 3 October 2015 / Version of Record 3 October 2015.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Carboniferous; Palaeobiogeography; New subprovinces; Foraminifers; Rugose corals; Tindouf Basin; North Africa
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:72296
Deposited On:18 May 2022 07:39
Last Modified:18 May 2022 09:58

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