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Martín-Martín, J. D., et al. (2016), Diapiric growth within an Early Jurassic rift basin: The Tazoult salt wall (central High Atlas, Morocco), Tectonics, n/a-n/a, doi: 10.1002/2016TC004300.


The central High Atlas (Morocco) constitutes a diapiric province that hosts a complex array of elongated diapirs and minibasins that formed during the Lower Jurassic rift of the Atlas Basin. This paper aims to study the structure and growth evolution of the Tazoult diapiric wall, located in the central High Atlas, by means of structural and sedimentological fieldwork integrated with remote sensing mapping. The Tazoult salt wall is a 20 km long × 3 km wide NE-SW trending ridge that exposes Upper Triassic red beds and basalts along its core. The succession flanking the salt wall ranges from Hettangian to Bajocian ages displaying spectacular sedimentary wedges in the SE and NW flanks. The Hettangian-early Sinemurian carbonates mainly crop out as blocks embedded in the core rocks. The ~1 km thick Pliensbachian platform carbonates display large subvertical flap structures along the flanks of the Tazoult salt wall with unconformities bounding tapered composite halokinetic sequences. In contrast, the ~2.5 km thick late Pliensbachian-Aalenian mixed deposits form tabular composite halokinetic sequences displaying small-scale hook halokinetic sequences. Passive diapirism resulted in the lateral extrusion of the evaporite-bearing rocks to form an allochthonous salt sheet toward the adjacent SE Amezraï minibasin. The Bajocian platform carbonates partially fossilized the Tazoult salt wall and thus constitute a key horizon to constrain the timing of diapir growth and discriminate diapirism from Alpine shortening. The Pliensbachian carbonate platform evolved as a long flap structure during the early growth of the Tazoult salt wall, well before the onset of the Alpine shortening.

Reference article