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Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 26, No. 6, February 1984. Pages 4-4.

Abstract: The Regional Geology of Morocco


Previous HitWilliamTop H. Kanes

The onshore sedimentary basins of Morocco can be defined best by the positive tectonic elements which border or shape the basin margins. Perhaps the three most easily defined basins would be: (1) the Tindouf, a strongly defined Paleozoic downwarp which borders the south flank of the positive Anti-Atlas; (2) the Cenozoic Rharb-Said basinal complex formed by the positive edge of the partly metamorphosed Moroccan Meseta; and (3) the Guercif, a well defined upper Mesozoic and Cenozoic downwarp formed by the intersection of the East-West-striking "zone of horsts", the Northeastern-striking Middle Atlas and the Rif thrust on the West. These three basinal units have abundant oil shows and some oil production. The Guercif and Rharb basins, unlike the Tindouf, have been strongly influenced by the Alpine orogeny, although older deformational patterns can be observed.

Several additional areas in Morocco, although not basinal "sensu strictu", do have many of the similarities of basins (although they may lack the strong border elements). These basins, including the High Plateau Mesozoic-Tertiary complex, and Doukkala and contiguous areas, suggest the possibility of interesting petroleum plays. The High Plateau Basin has a Jurassic-Cretaceous section, as well as untested Triassic. The structural style of this area is dominated by normal faults, horsts, and grabens. The Doukkala-Essaouira Basin includes rocks of Paleozoic age in the Doukkala and of Mesozoic age in the Essaouira Basin. Devonian and Jurassic reefs, and oolitic lower Lias and supratidal dolomites have been described from outcrop and the Essaouira Basin subsurface. In almost every case, structural and seismic sections through the sedimentary or tectonic basins indicate there are multiple potential reservoirs and excellent possibilities for stratigraphic traps.

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