EGU22-5992, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Mantle dynamics and intraplate orogeny: The Atlas of Morocco

Riccardo Lanari1, Claudio Faccenna2, Claudio Natali1, Ebru Sengul3, Giuditta Fellin4, Thorsten Becker5, Oguz Gogus6, Nasser Youbi7, and Sandro Conticelli1
Riccardo Lanari et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Italy (
  • 2Roma Tre, Earth science, Geology, Roma, Italy
  • 3Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Engineering, Geophysics, Canakkale, Turkey
  • 4ETH Zurich, Department of Earth Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 5Jackson School of Geoscience, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA
  • 6Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University, 34469, Ayazaga, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 7Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences‐Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco

Most orogenic belts are close to convergent plate margins. However, some orogens are formed far away from plate boundaries, as a result of compressional stress propagating within plates, basal loading, or a combination of thereof. We focus on the Atlas of Morocco, which is such an intraplate orogeny and shows evidence of mantle driven uplift, and plume-related volcanism. How these processes interact each other is still poorly constrained and it provides clues about intraplate stress propagation, strain localization, and lithospheric weakening due to mantle dynamics. 

We present three sets of observations constructed by integrating previous data with new analyses. Crustal and thermal evolution constraints are combined with new analyses of topographic evolution and petrological and geochemical data from the Anti-Atlas volcanic fields. Our findings reveal that: i) crustal deformation and exhumation started during middle/late Miocene, contemporaneous with the onset of volcanism; ii) volcanism has an anorogenic signature with a deep source; iii) a dynamic deep mantle source supports the high topography. Lastly, we conducted simple numerical tests to investigate the connections between mantle dynamics and crustal deformation. This leads us to propose a model where mantle upwelling and related volcanism weaken the lithosphere and favor the localization of crustal shortening along pre-existing structures due to plate convergence.

How to cite: Lanari, R., Faccenna, C., Natali, C., Sengul, E., Fellin, G., Becker, T., Gogus, O., Youbi, N., and Conticelli, S.: Mantle dynamics and intraplate orogeny: The Atlas of Morocco, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5992,, 2022.