EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Structural styles of the External Rif and Flysch Domain (Rif belt, northern Morocco) through thermal maturity and structural data

Andrea Schito1, Achraf Atouabat1,3, Sveva Corrado1,3, Faouziya Haissen2, Geoffroy Mohn3, and Dominique Frizon De Lamotte3
Andrea Schito et al.
  • 1Dept. Sciences, University of Roma Tre, Roma, Italy (
  • 2Département de Géologie Faculté des Sciences Ben M'sik Université Hassan II de Casablanca Maroc
  • 3Laboratoire Géosciences et Environnement Cergy (GEC) Maison Internationale de la Recherche CY Cergy Paris Université

Located in northern Morocco, the Rif belt represents the western edge of the Maghrebides system. This domain underwent a significant Cenozoic alpine compressional deformation, due to the collision between the North African margin and the south-western margin of the exotic Alboran Domain. This collision led to the development of a nappe stack during the Miocene.

This contribution aims to characterize the main tectonic mechanisms driving the evolution of the Rifain wedge, its burial-exhumation paths and to understand the former architecture of the North African paleo-margin. The work focuses mainly on the Flysch domain, originated from the Maghrebian branch of the Tethys and on the External domain (namely Intrarif, Mesorif and Prerif) that belong to the former north African margin. To define the thrust sheet stacking pattern and their burial-exhumation paths, a regional transect from Chefchaouen and Ouezzane towns (Central Rif), crossing the orogenic wedge from the Flysch to the Prerif Units is constructed.

The methodological approach consists in combining petrography and Raman micro-spectroscopy on organic matter and 1D thermal modelling, together with field structural data.

A new paleo-thermal data set of vitrinite reflectance (Ro%) and Raman micro-spectroscopy displays levels of thermal maturity between early and deep diagenetic conditions (Ro% ranges from 0.50% to 1.15%).

Preliminary results show an abrupt change in the thermal maturity and the rate of shortening in the Loukkos sub-unit (Intrarif Domain) that is structurally squeezed between Tangier sub-unit (Intrarif Domain) and the “Izzaren Duplex” (Mesorif).

Furthermore, previous studies show that the thickest crust below the Rif fold-and-thrust belt is located below the Izzaren area, suggesting a deep crustal imbrication at the transition between the Intrarif and the Mesorif. These observations joined with the thermal maturity data and 1D thermal modelling allow revisiting the structural evolution of the central part of the Rif belt, by defining the rate of shortening and proposing a new geological restoration with respect to the Mesozoic North African margin structural original setting.

How to cite: Schito, A., Atouabat, A., Corrado, S., Haissen, F., Mohn, G., and Frizon De Lamotte, D.: Structural styles of the External Rif and Flysch Domain (Rif belt, northern Morocco) through thermal maturity and structural data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19279,, 2020


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