Fluvial and lacustrine sedimentation in a foreland basin

Theme: Past Life & Environments

Main Supervisor:

Charlie Bristow

Earth and Planetary Sciences, BBK

Project Description:

The onset of foreland basin deposition in the Ouarzarzate Basin in Morocco is marked by a transition from marine to fluvial and lacustrine sedimentation. The Ait Arbi and the distal equivalent Hadida Formations have a maximum thickness of around 500m and are exposed for a distance of around 50 km along strike, with exposures repeated across anticlines and thrusts along the northern margin of the Ouarzarzate Basin.

The extent of the outcrop along strike, combined with repetition down depositional- dip and exceptional exposure in a desert environment provides opportunities to reconstruct fluvial and lacustrine sedimentation in the early stages of foreland basin development, with the objective of understanding controls of fluvial and lacustrine sedimentation and sand-body geometry. The sediments are potential analogues for Rotliegendes deposits within the southern North Sea and have Quaternary analogues within the Ouarzazate Basin.

Policy Impact of Research:

This project is primarily aimed at training students in sedimentary geology with a view to gaining employment in the oil industry it is not expected to have a high impact.


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