CENTRAL ANTI-ATLAS TRAVERSE: the northern border of the West African Craton
le géoparc du jbel bani - tata

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CENTRAL ANTI-ATLAS TRAVERSE: the northern border of the West African Craton

By DR. M. OUKASSOU, DR. H. EL HADI, DR. F. HAISSEN, DR. N. SABER

ITINERARY and OBJECTIVES

The  south  of  Morocco  is  one  of  the  most  attractive  touristic  areas with diversified  landscapes  from snowy  mountains  to  desert  plains.  The  High  Atlas with  his 3000 to 4000 meters forms  a  major climatic barrier to the Atlantic perturbations, which account for the arid climate of the Anti Atlas sub Saharan domain  south  of  the  chain.  These regions are occupied by berbere speaking populations with long hospitality tradition.

The two day trips follow most touristic roads and visit outstanding outcrops illustrating a central transect across the Anti-Atlas belt (figures G1 & G2), which corresponds to the external fold belt of the Hercynian (Variscan, Alleghanian)  chain,  but  it  also  includes  large Pan African  inliers.  The High Atlas formed during the Cenozoic at the expense of an aborted Triassic Jurassic rift. Therefore, three superimposed Wilsonian cycles can be illustrated during the trips. The itinerary will make possible to illustrate the complex geological history of these areas from 2 Ga to present day. Our purpose  is to present  and  discuss  various  regional  and  thematic  (sediment logical,  structural,  magmatic  and

metamorphic)  features,  which  record  the  main  geodynamical  events  during  this  long  geological history.  Magnificent minerals (erhytrite, vanadinite...) and fossils (trilobites, goniatites...) can be purchased at many places.

During this field  trip, the  AgdzBou  Azzer Tazenakht Agdzloop (figureG3)allows  the participants to discover the PanAfrican belt (external platform domain in the Zenaga inlier, ophiolitic suture  zone  at  Bou  Azzer),  the  early  volcano clastic  cover  sequence  (late  Neoproterozoic),  and  the mildly folded Early Paleozoic sediments (Cambrian and Ordovician).

Detailed road  log for the  trip  are  provided  below  along  with  Global  Positioning  Satellite  (GPS) location at each stop. Note that all the stops are on public roads, and that the use of hammers and the collection of rocks are permitted.