Contemporary evolution of the natural environment of the region between Antiatlas and Sahara (Morocco)
Skiba S., Krzemień K. (red.), 2008, Contemporary evolution of the natural environment of the region between Antiatlas and Sahara (Morocco), Prace Geograficzne, z. 118.
Język publikacji: angielski
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Morphostructural and geomorphological outline of Morocco
Summary: The paper bears the characteristic of the surface relief of Morocco. This relief is connected with the mode of closing of the Mediterranean Sea by the African continent. The closure of the Mediterranean Sea is built by Hercynides. In the Mesozoic and in early Paleogene they were folded, what resulted in formation of the mountain ridges separated by intramontane basins, in which sedimentation took place. In the Oligocene and later in the Neogene periods as well, the tectonic movements yielded formation of two mountain ridges: Rif mountains in the north and Atlas Mountains in the south. The Moroccan plains extending in the west-east direction widespread from 300 to 400 km and they accommodate the extension of the mountain ridges, which are the basis of the regional division. The Moroccan surface relief may be divided into three parts: the mountainous one comprising Atlas and Rif Mts, the Atlantic one consisting of plains and elevated denudation flats, and the largest one of eastern Morocco and Sahara that includes platforms more or less distinctly separated by mountains (Figure 1). Four morphostructural units may be distinguished in Morocco. The first one comprises the area most stable tectonically in the past, which extends from Mauretania in the south to the zone of the southern Atlas Mts in the north. It includes the ridge of Antiatlas, flats and hamadas of Presahara, as well as the whole Atlantic zone of Sahara. The second unit includes mainly meridional ridges of the Atlas Mts. They are built from rocks of various age. Their uplift took place in early Paleogene. The uplifted and fractured sediments underwent numerous deformation and erosion cycles. The third unit, Meseta, consists of plains and uplifted flats of the Atlantic Moroccan coast as well as elevated Moroccan-Oranian plains extending to the east from the Middle Atlas Mts. These areas are built from rocks folded in late Paleozoic (Hercynian orogenesis), which till the Middle Triassic remained stable. In the old massifs, in which the large-scale uplift took place, extensive areas of accumulation formed. Depressions originated by subsidence became basins filled by sediment beds of frequently large thickness. The Rif unit, occurring northernmost, was the area of the marine sedimentation till Miocene. The subsequent orogenic movements caused the overthrusting of the beds to the south, toward the southern Rif groove, which separates the Rif unit and the Meseta and Atlas units. This young unit of the flysch type was eroded and denudated most intensively. The paper also presents a short description of the Moroccan soils which development and spatial differentiation are connected mainly with the relief, lithology and climate.
Słowa kluczowe (w języku angielskim): Morocco relief, Moroccan morphostructural units, Morocco soils.
Prace Geograficzne, 2008, z. 118, s. 9-10.
Instytut Geografii i Gospodarki Przestrzennej UJ
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