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The Eocene Bryozoans of Bekrit-Timahdite Formation, Middle-Atlas, Morocco: Taxonomy, Paleoenvironments and Paleoclimates Implications

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: Located in the North-West of the African continent, the Moroccan Middle Atlas constitutes an intra-continental chain within the Atlas domain. It is known by several global geological events such as the Paleocene-Eocene crisis during the Paleogene, which corresponds to one of the hottest periods on earth with Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM). A taxonomic study carried out on the carbonate deposits of the Bekrit-Timahdite Formation from three sections of the Bekrit syncline allowed the identification of 5 species of the Cheilostome and Cyclostome Bryozoans (Cellaria rigida, Cellaria sinuosa, Aimulosia lamellosa, Heteropora and Osthimosia) in bioclastic limestones, nodular limestones, marly and sandy limestones. The interest of Bryozoans as indicators of paleoenvironments and paleoclimates was assessed by examining current communities, in terms of depth evolution as richness and abundance, distribution of taxonomic categories zoarium types, and zooidal morphology. The depositional environment analysis of Bryozoans showed a shallow marine carbonate platform with low sedimentation energy where is registered a relatively warm paleoclimate.

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