EGU22-711, updated on 26 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The deep structure of the Richat magmatic intrusion (northern Mauritania) from geophysical modelling. Insights into its kinematics of emplacement

El Houssein Abdeina1,2, Sara Bazin3, Gilles Chazot3, Hervé Bertrand4, Bernard Le Gall3, Nasrrddine Youbi2, Mohamed Salem Sabar1, Mohamed Khalil Bensalah2, and Moulay Ahmed Boumehdi2
El Houssein Abdeina et al.
  • 1Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, University of Nouakchott Al-Aasriya, BP 5026, Nouakchott, Mauritania
  • 2Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Prince Moulay Abdellah Boulevard, P.O. Box 2390, Marrakech, Morocco
  • 3Laboratoire Géosciences Océan, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, place Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France
  • 4Univ Lyon, ENSL, Univ Lyon 1, CNRS, LGL-TPE, F-69007 Lyon, France

The famous circular structure of Richat, sometimes referred to as “the eye of Africa”, is located in the northwestern part of the Taoudeni basin, in the central part of the Mauritanian Adrar plateaus. It is expressed at the surface as a slightly elliptical depression, about 40 kilometers in diameter, marked by concentric ridges of Proterozoic-Lower Paleozoic sediments. Its origin as resulting from either a meteorite impact or a deep magmatic intrusion, has been long debated. Modelling of high-resolution airborne magnetic data as well as satellite gravity data reinforces the intrusion hypothesis. Geophysical modelling has been calibrated by determinations of rock properties from various types of magmatic lithologies sampled in the field. The three complementary types of geophysical data allow us to image at various scales and depths the buried structures of the Richat magmatic complex, to determine the areas most affected by hydrothermal alteration and finally to elaborate a kinematic model for its emplacement. We emphasize that : (1) the Richat intrusion is characterized by the presence of two important circular magnetic signals that coincide with gabbroic ring dykes partly exposed at the surface, (2) its overall circular structure rests above a deep mafic (gabbroic) body, (3) the upwelling of magma at the surface has been facilitated by the presence of concentric faults and (4) the central zone of the complex recorded intense hydrothermal alteration. This case study aims to provide insights for similar types of magma-induced ring structures observed worldwide.

How to cite: Abdeina, E. H., Bazin, S., Chazot, G., Bertrand, H., Le Gall, B., Youbi, N., Sabar, M. S., Bensalah, M. K., and Boumehdi, M. A.: The deep structure of the Richat magmatic intrusion (northern Mauritania) from geophysical modelling. Insights into its kinematics of emplacement, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-711,, 2022.

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