Evidence of quaternary transtensional tectonics in the Nekor basin (NE Morocco)
M. Lafosse, E. d'Acremont, A. Rabaute, B. Mercier de Lépinay, A. Tahayt, A. Ammar and C. Gorini
Issue: Vol 29, No 4, August 2017 pp. 470 - 489
Info: Article, PDF ( 16.19Mb )
The geodynamic processes in the western Mediterranean are driven by both deep (mantle) processes such as slab-rollback or delamination, oblique plate convergence and inherited structures. The present- day deformation of the Alboran Sea and in particular the Nekor basin area is linked to these coeval effects. The seismically active Nekor basin is an extensional basin formed in a convergent setting at the eastern part of the Rif Chain whose boundaries extend both onshore and offshore Morocco. We propose a new structural model of the Nekor basin based on high-resolution offshore data compiled from recent seismic reflection profiles, swath bathymetry acquisitions and industrial seismic reflection profiles. The new data set shows that the northern limit of the basin is oriented N49° with right-stepping faults from the Bousekkour–Aghbal fault to the sinistral Bokkoya fault zone. This pattern indicates the presence of an inherited left-lateral basement fault parallel to the major inherited Nekor fault. This fault has been interpreted as a Quaternary active left-lateral transfer fault localized on weak structural discontinuities inherited from the orogenic period. Onshore and offshore active faults enclose a rhombohedral tectonic Nekor Basin. Normal faults oriented N155° offset the most recent Quaternary deposits in the Nekor basin, and indicate the transtensional behaviour of this basin. The geometry of these faults suggests a likely rollover structure and the presence at depth of a crustal detachment. Inactive Plio-Quaternary normal faults to the east of the Ras Tarf promontory and geometries of depocentres seem to indicate the migration of deformation from east to west. The local orientations of horizontal stress directions deduced from normal fault orientations are compatible with the extrusion of the Rifian units and coherent with the westward rollback of the Tethyan slab and the localization of the present-day slab detachment or delamination.