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Structural pattern of the Saïss basin and Tabular Middle Atlas in northern Morocco: hydrological implications

Abstract : The plain of Saïss is a fertile area of great agricultural production with major economic interests. Therefore, the improved knowledge about the water supply is imperative within a context of recurrent droughts and overexploitation of the groundwater. This plain is located in the Meknes-Fes basin and between two deformed domains: the Rif and Middle Atlas. The aquifers are fed by water coming from the Tabular Middle Atlas, for which the pathways are poorly constrained. This study provides new data to determine the water pathways based on a structural map produced from a novel analysis of SPOT images and a digital elevation model. This structural map reveals two fracture sets trending NE-SW and NW-SE. The first set is well known and corresponds to a main trend that controlled the tectonic and stratigraphic evolution of the study area. On the other hand, the NW-SE set was poorly described until now: it is both diffuse and widespread on the Tabular Middle Atlas. A comparison between the regional water flow trend, drainage pattern and structural map shows that the NW-SE fractures control the water flow from the Tabular Middle Atlas to the Saïss plain. A hydrological model is discussed where the water flow is confined onto Liassic carbonates and driven by NW-SE fractures. This study explains how a detailed structural mapping shows hydrology constraints.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 11, 2016 - 2:35:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 2:48:12 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 11:43:47 AM


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Olivier Dauteuil, Frédérique Moreau, Khaoula Qarqori. Structural pattern of the Saïss basin and Tabular Middle Atlas in northern Morocco: hydrological implications. Journal of African Earth Sciences, Elsevier, 2016, 119, pp.150-159. ⟨10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2016.04.001⟩. ⟨insu-01300836⟩



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