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Geology 465: Tectonophysics of Morocco


Dates:  May 19-May 30, 2013

Airfare: $1487 (as of September, 2012)

Accommodations: $ TBA

Meals and Miscellaeous: $ TBA

Field based research is an essential component to Earth Sciences. In this course we will explore the tectonic evolution of Morocco from the use of modern passive source seismological data. Students will learn how to deploy and service the 15 portable broadband seismographs, (which were initially deployed across the Atlas Mountains in October 2009), but learn about the geology of Morocco from the Jurassic to the Quaternary. The students will be instructed on the tectonic history and fascinating geology as the group travels through the region to service the seismic instruments. A few of the many highlights are: the exposed Bou Azzer ophiolite sequence that illustrates the configuration of the oceanic lithosphere obducted onto the west African craton (~750 Ma), mantle xenoliths in Quaternary alkaline basalts from the Middle Atlas consistent with metosomatism of the lithospheric mantle source, and exhumed Beni Bousera peridotites along the Mediterranean coast.

There will be three parts to the course:

  • A set of six preparatory seminars at USC centered around the tectonic history of Morocco and modern geophysical imaging techniques.
  • A 10-day field trip to Morocco, during which the students will investigate a set of inter-related research questions and participate in broadband seismological field work.
  • Preparation of a term paper about an aspect of the research carried out in the field. This phase will be supported by a set of discussion sessions held during the field course.

For more information, please contact Professor Meghan Miller at