International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp 2101–2123 | Cite as

Review of the Cambrian volcanic activity in Morocco: geochemical fingerprints and geotectonic implications for the rifting of West Gondwana

  • André Pouclet
  • Hassan El Hadi
  • J. Javier Álvaro
  • Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff
  • Mohammed Benharref
  • Abdelilah Fekkak
Original Paper


Volcanic activities related to the opening of a Cambrian rift in Morocco were widespread from the Fortunian to the Cambrian Epoch 3. Numerous data are available from northwestern volcanic sites, particularly in the western High Atlas, but they are scarce from the southeastern sites. New data are documented here from the volcanic formations exposed in the Jbel Tazoult n’Ouzina of the Tafilalt Province, eastern Anti-Atlas and dated to Cambrian Epoch 2–3. The Cambrian volcanic activities recorded in the High Atlas, Anti-Atlas, and Coastal Meseta are synthesized to refine their stratigraphic setting and to characterize their magmatic affinities and fingerprints. Six volcanic pulses are determined as tholeiitic, transitional, and alkaline suites. The tholeiitic and transitional magmas originated from primitive mantle and E-MORB-type sources with a spinel- and garnet-bearing lherzolite composition. Some of them were modified by assimilation–fractional crystallisation processes during crust–mantle interactions. The alkaline magmas fit with an OIB-type and a garnet-bearing lherzolite source. The palaeogeographic distribution of the magmatic suites was controlled by the lithospheric thinning of the Cambrian Atlas Rift and lithospheric constraints of the Pan-African metacraton and West African craton.


Continental rift Tholeiitic and transitional magmatism Intra-plate alkaline magmatism Cambrian Atlas Rift High Atlas Anti-Atlas Moroccan Meseta 



The first draft of this work gained from constructive reviews of Jean-Paul Liégeois and Abderrahmane Soulaimani. We greatly appreciated accurate criticism of Gerhard Franz and an anonymous reviewer for performing the organisation of the paper. This paper is a contribution to project CGL2013-48877-P from Spanish MINECO.

Supplementary material

531_2018_1590_MOESM1_ESM.xls (76 kb)
Table 4 Selected analyses from the literature. From the references of Table 2, we only retain analyses with incompatible trace-element data. Highly altered lavas are discarded. However, we allowed some analyses with alkalies and lime depletion or spilitic enrichment if the immobile elements seem to be not abnormal. Abbreviations of the sources: A-08, Álvaro et al. (2008a); B-17, Benaouda et al. (2017); C-13, Chèvremont et al. (2013); E-06, El Hadi et al. (2006); O-03, Ouali et al. (2003); O-17, Ouanaimi et al. (2017); P-07, Pouclet et al. (2007); P-08, Pouclet et al. (2008); S-04, Soulaimani et al. (2004) (XLS 75 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Pouclet
    • 1
  • Hassan El Hadi
    • 2
  • J. Javier Álvaro
    • 3
  • Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff
    • 4
  • Mohammed Benharref
    • 5
  • Abdelilah Fekkak
    • 6
  1. 1.Longeville-sur-merFrance
  2. 2.University Hassan IICasablancaMorocco
  3. 3.Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC-UCM)MadridSpain
  4. 4.University Paris-Sud, Earth Science, UMR CNRS 8148 GEOPS, bât. 504, and University Paris-SaclayOrsayFrance
  5. 5.Cap RessourcesCasablancaMorocco
  6. 6.University Chouaïb DoukhaliEl JadidaMorocco

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