Geology Report : Algerian Sahara

Jun 30th, 2015
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The Saharan desert within the so-called Triassic Basin (Oued Mya Basin) is part of the North African stable craton. The basin has had a long history from Cambrian times onwards, and has a sedimentary column of about 5,000 m (Fig. 1). The Cambrian sediments are a thick series of fluvial and shallow marine sandstones, deposited on a peneplained surface

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Structure and stratigraphyThe Saharan desert within the so-called Triassic Basin (Oued Mya Basin) is part of the North African stable craton. The basin has had a long history from Cambrian times onwards, and has a sedimentary column of about 5,000 m (Fig. 1). The Cambrian sediments are a thick series of fluvial and shallow marine sandstones, deposited on a peneplained surface composed, in the Hassi Messaoud area, of Early Cambrian granites. The Algerian Sahara was invaded by a relatively deep anoxic sea during the Ordovician, but this was followed by a regional regression and a period of coarse clastic, continental and glacial sedimentation.During the Late Silurian, deep marine conditions once again occurred over a wide area in North Africa, but the Caledonian orogeny led to the creation of a number of gentle, regional uplifts. Devonian sandstones and shales were deposited extensively in fluvial and shallow marine environments over much of North Africa, including Algeria, and lie unconformably on tilted and eroded Lower Palaeozoic sediments. They were followed by deltaic and marine sandstones and shales of Carboniferous age. It is not known for certain whether these Upper Palaeozoic sediments were deposited over the Hassi Messaoud high because they have not been preserved there. They may have been deposited with a reduced thickness, but in any case would have been subsequently removed as a result of the tectonic upheavals related to the Hercynian orogeny of Late Carb

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