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Moraine formations and speleothem records in northeastern Morocco

In August 2014, the C2 members Dr. Gilles Rixhon and Melanie Bartz undertook a second field trip to Morocco with the aim of sampling further palaeoclimate archives, namely glacial formations and speleothems.

Moraines can be used as palaeoclimate archive thanks to the recent development of the cosmogenic nuclide dating techniques. During the first week, we carried out a detailed mapping of glacial formations in the Middle and High Atlas regions and a sampling of moraine boulders for surface exposure dating with 36Cl. The carbonate samples are now processed in the laboratories of the Geological Institute of the University of Cologne (by Dr. Gilles Rixhon together with Dr. Silke Mechernich, working group Prof. Tibor Dunai).

After research at high altitudes up to 3200 m, the C2 team, together with Dr. Jasper Wassenburg (working group Prof. Denis Scholz, Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany) and two speleologists from Taza, explored several caves in eastern Morocco, namely in the Beni Snassen massif and the mountains flanking the Guerrouaou plain for sampling speleothems. Stalagmites and flowstones may render excellent Late Quaternary palaeoclimate records since they are well-suited for U series dating and oxygen isotope analyses.

 

C2 Bartz Fig 1 lhk 250pxStudy site in the High Atlas Mts. View towards south showing cirques and different phases of lateral moraines.
Photo: Melanie Bartz
  C2 Bartz Fig 2 lhk 250px
Cave Ifri Inouqben in the flanks of the Rif Mts. adjacent to the Guerrouaou plain.
Photo: Jasper Wassenburg

Project

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