Storm deposits: evidence of event sedimentation in the Bajocian of the Central High Atlas, Morocco

Abdellah AIT ADDI


Storm beds interbedded with marls, claystones and beds of nodular to undulose bioclastic limestones have been recognized in the Central High Atlas of Morocco. These provide the first evidence of event sedimentation in the Bajocian of the area. The outcrops studied are included in the Agoudim and Tazigzaout formations in the center of the basin, and are parts of the Bin El Ouidane Group at the margins of the basin. The storm deposits comprise calcarenites and bioclastic packstones-grainstones. These beds have symmetrical wave-ripples at their tops and an internal structure of hummocky cross-stratification. They are considered to have been formed by tropical storms and hurricanes. Multiple reworking and winnowing of siliciclastic or bioclastic material by oscillatory currents related to storm and to currents resulting from storm/tide interactions is inferred. Bed features are the most important evidence in favour of a palaeobathymetric interpretation of related pelagic sediments, with calcareous tempestites representing episodic resedimentation, mainly coincident with relative sea-level falls during which major storm waves affected the sea bottom. This interpretation is in agreement with the regional palaeogeography and is further supported by evidence of Jurassic storm-controlled sedimentation in adjacent Mediterranean basins.


Bajocian; High Atlas; Marocco; oscillatory currents; resedimentation; storm deposits

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