3-4 November 2017
Location: Atlas; Anti-Atlas of Marrakech and Ouarzazate areas of Morocco**
Field Trip Leader: Abdallah Aitsalem (ONHYM) & Lahcen Boutib (ONHYM)
Field Trip Fee: USD575 *
* Field trip pricing covers accommodation, feeding and transportation for the duration of the Trip.
Seats are limited and will be confirmed on a first come first served basis.
Day 1 Departure from Marrakech to Ouarzazate
The Atlas Mountains of Marrakech extend more than 250 km East-West and 50 km North-South. They record the highest mountainous peaks in North Africa with altitudes exceeding 4,000 meters (Toubkal 4,165m and Ouenkrim 4,089m). Northward and southward, they rise hundreds of meters above the Marrakech plain (Haouz plain) and Imini syncline, respectively. The recently incised mountain valleys, created during the last inversion of the Atlas, form the crossing ways of the massif, as is the case of the main road that connects Marrakech to Ouarzazate passing via the Tizi n'Tichka Pass. They also provide the opportunity to view multiple breathtaking landscapes and contain outcrops that shed light on the geological evolution of the mountain from the Precambrian to the present. Day 1 of the field trip will allow participants to view Paleozoic outcrops through the Tizi n'Tichka Pass, which displays a complete Cambrian to Devonian succession and contains several organic-rich intervals. Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits, which are exposed on the borders of the massif, will also be viewed briefly.
Day 2: Departure from Ouarzazate to Tazzarine and back to Ouarzazate **
Day 2 of the field trip crosses the central Anti-Atlas Paleozoic basin and offers spectacular views of the largest oasis in North Africa, along the Draa River, and its majestic ancient Kasbahs. Participants will examine formations ranging in age from Upper Precambrian to Silurian. Discussions will focus on the evolution of their various depositional environments in relation to sea level changes. The well exposed sandstone formations provide the opportunity to view major Paleozoic reservoirsintervals, as well as the organic-rich "hot shales" that source these reservoirs. Rubble from recent water wells and ingenious sub-cropping irrigation systems (Khattara) provide the chance to sample fresh Ordovician and Silurian organic-rich and fossiliferous black shales. In addition, the participants will have perspective views of gentle folding generated during the Hercynian compression and related regional fractures.
**Field trip will end in Ouarzazate. All participants to arrange their own transport from Ouarzazate following the conclusion of the field trip.
To register for the field trip please click here.