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3D architecture of Quaternary sediment along the NW Atlantic Moroccan Rharb continental shelf: A stratal pattern under the dual control of tectonics and climatic variations

Abstract : This study focuses on the evolution of the Atlantic NW Moroccan Rharb continental shelf during the Neogene and Quaternary. This region is part of a foreland basin bounded by the Rif mountain belt and thus provides an interesting geological setting to study the interactions between eustasy and tectonics and the driving mechanisms controlling stratigraphic patterns. The results are supported by an interpretation of new data including high-resolution seismic lines coupled with an interpretation of industrial seismic lines and detailed logs of industrial wells completed by micropaleontologic analysis of cuttings. The stratigraphy reveals a succession of three mega sequences related to the transition from an underfilled to an overfilled stage reflecting the long-term evolution of the foreland system. Moreover, evidence of cyclical sea-level changes are visible in the upper megasequence composed of three depositional sequences assumed to be fourth-order sequences generated in response to the most recent 100-ka glacio-eustatic cycles. This study also shows the peripheral deformation of the Rharb shelf responsible for changes in the geometry of the deposits and thicknesses of the sedimentary fill during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. The most important change was triggered by the uplift of the Lallah Zahra Ridge corresponding to a major Quaternary kinematic boundary and the broad uplift of the southern shelf interpreted as a flexural uplift of the forebulge domain. The deformation-controlled sediment dispersal pattern consists of a progressive growth of the shelf accompanied with a progressive shift of depocenters from the North East to the South West and a general progradation to the North West along the southern border. This progressive filling has led to the confinement of the Rharb paleo-valley across the continental shelf. The complete filling of the palaeo-valley was followed by the development of a more than 70-m thick prodeltaic lobe at the front of the Oued Sebou river mouth during the Holocene.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 20, 2014 - 4:43:55 PM
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Pascal Le Roy, M. Sahabi, Nissrine Maad, Marina Rabineau, Marc-André Gutscher, et al.. 3D architecture of Quaternary sediment along the NW Atlantic Moroccan Rharb continental shelf: A stratal pattern under the dual control of tectonics and climatic variations. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2014, 49, pp.129-142. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.10.003⟩. ⟨insu-00933569⟩

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