Paleomagnetism of the Western Saharan Basins: An Overview

  • M. E. M. DerderEmail author
  • B. Henry
  • S. Maouche
  • N. E. Merabet
  • M. Amenna
  • B. Bayou
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


Numerous paleomagnetic studies were performed in the western Saharan basins, particularly during the last decades. Primary magnetization of the sedimentary formations older than Bashkirian appeared as totally overprinted. By contrast, 23 new coherent paleomagnetic poles, mainly from Bashkirian to Autunian age and from Middle Triassic to Lias age, were determined. These new data greatly improved the Apparent Polar Wander Path (APWP) for Africa, and consequently for the whole Gondwana, especially for the Upper Carboniferous. The corresponding paleoreconstruction strongly argued for an A2 Pangea during this last period. By its comparison with paleomagnetic data from undated geological units, this new APWP provided dating of these units. Paleomagnetic data highlighted also the existence of a post-Liassic regional tectonic event having affected the Paleozoic cover in the Sahara platform. Finally, several magnetic overprints, pointed out in these studies, are of chemical origin, with likely a significant role of ground-fluids. Indeed, fluids migration phenomena often favored chemical changes and remagnetization process. Upper Carboniferous, Permian and Upper Cretaceous–Cenozoic overprinting ages were thus probably linked to regional geochemical events that occurred in the Saharan Platform.


Paleomagnetism Sahara Basins Geodynamic Tectonics Geochemistry 



We are very grateful to the Algerian research Ministry MESRS, to the French Foreign Office and to the French CNRS (Programs DPRS (DGRU)-CNRS, CMEP and PICS yielded financial supports). Special thanks also to the SONATRACH, ORGM, OPNA (Tamanrasset), ONPCT (Djanet) and to all the civil and military authorities everywhere in the Algerian Sahara for their constant and important help in the field. We are very grateful to Pr Mohamed Hamoudi for his detailed and constructive review.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. M. Derder
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. Henry
    • 2
  • S. Maouche
    • 1
  • N. E. Merabet
    • 1
  • M. Amenna
    • 1
  • B. Bayou
    • 1
  1. 1.CRAAGBouzaréah, AlgiersAlgeria
  2. 2.Paléomagnétisme, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Univ. Paris Diderot and UMR 7154 CNRSSaint-Maur cedexFrance

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