A Late Permian paleopole from the Ikakern Formation (Argana basin, Morocco) and the configuration of Pangea
The nearly 2000 m-thick Ikakern Formation is the basal sedimentary unit in the Argana basin of Morocco, consisting of fluvial red and purple conglomerates in the lower part and interbedded red conglomerates, sand- stones, siltstones and mudstones in the upper part. It unconformably overlies deformed and metamorphosed Variscan basement rocks and is unconformably overlain by the finer grained lacustrine to fluvial sediments of the?Early to Late Triassic Timesgadiouine Formation. Vertebrate fossil and chronostratigraphic constraints indi- cate a post-Kiaman, Late Permian age for at least the sampled upper member (t2) of the Ikakern Formation. A sta- ble, high unblocking temperature dual polarity characteristic magnetization that passes a local fold test gives a paleomagnetic pole for 14 sites at 48.8°N 246.3°E A95 = 7.2° after correction for inclination flattening and indi- cates a paleolatitude of 14°N for the nominal sampling location at 30.75°N 9.10°W. The Ikakern pole agrees well with poles of similar age deemed reliable in a recent assessment of published data from South America, Africa, Adria, and Australia, which together (N = 7) provide a mean Gondwana pole for an age bin centered on 260 Ma at 52.2°N 239.8°E A95 = 5.0° (NW Africa coordinates). In conjunction with a robust mean 260 Ma pole form Laurasia, these results confirm a Pangea A configuration for the Late Permian. This is in contrast to some recently published interpretations of paleomagnetic data from the Gondwanides of South America that would prolong the existence of a Pangea B configuration from the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian through the Late Permian but which instead probably reflect effects of remagnetization or local rotation.
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- Gondwana Research