A series of balanced cross-sections across the Sub-Atlas thrust belt and the northern Ouarzazate basin are used to illustrate the structural geometry and the timing of deformation at the southern front of the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The selected area is among the best sedimentary records of mountain building of the entire orogenic system. The study of the relationships between thrusts and synorogenic continental formations enables the unraveling of kinematic sequences and the proposal of a relative chronology of deformation. Active thrusting in the area occurred in a rather continuous fashion from the Oligocene to the Pliocene, punctuated by a major erosional phase imprecisely placed in late Oligocene to early Miocene times. Detrital sedimentary facies indicate that uplift in the hinterland of the High Atlas, to the north of the Sub-Atlas belt, was taking place already by mid Eocene times, although it might have commenced locally even earlier. Within the Sub-Atlas zone, the exposed faults did not propagate in a simple piggy-back fashion but show evidence of a complex, synchronous sequence with events of fault reactivation and out-of-sequence thrusting. © Springer-Verlag 2006.
- High atlas