Effects of mantle upwelling in a compressional setting: The Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Antonio Teixell*, Puy Ayarza, Hermann Zeyen, Manel Fernàndez, María Luisa Arboleya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We discuss the implications of a lithospheric model of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains based on topography, heat flow, gravity and geoid anomalies, taking into account the regional geology. The NW African cratonic lithosphere, some 160-180 km thick, thins to c. 80 km beneath the Atlas fold-thrust belts, in contrast with the shortening regime prevailing there since the early Cenozoic. This fact explains several geological and geophysical features as high topography with modest tectonic shortening, the occurrence of alkaline magmatism contemporaneous to compression, the absence of large crustal roots to support elevation, the scarce development of foreland basins, and a marked geoid high. The modelled lithosphere thinning is related to a thermal upwelling constrained between the Iberia-Africa convergent plate boundary and the Saharan craton.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-461
Number of pages6
JournalTerra Nova
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes

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