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Ouled Abdoun Basin

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Ouled Abdoun Basin

The Oulad Abdoun and other major phosphate basins (in yellow) of Morocco

The Oulad Abdoun Basin (also known as the Ouled Abdoun Basin or Khouribga Basin) is a phosphate sedimentary basin located in Morocco, near the city of Khouribga. It is the largest in Morocco, comprising 44% of Morocco's phosphate reserves, and at least 26.8 billion tons of phosphate.[1][2] It is also known as an important site for vertebrate fossils, with deposits ranging from the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Turonian) to the Eocene epoch (Ypresian), a period of about 25 million years.[3]

Geography

The Oulad Abdoun is located west of the Atlas Mountains, near the city of Khouribga. The Oulad Abdoun phosphate deposits encompass some 100 km by 45 km, an area of 4,500 square km.[2] The Oulad Abdoun is the largest and northernomst of Morocco's major phosphate basins, which from northeast to southwest, include the Ganntour, Meskala, and Oued Eddahab (Laayoune-Baa) basins.[1][2]

Faunal composition

The Oulad Abdoun Basin stretches from late Cretaceous to the Eocene, and contains abundant marine vertebrate fossils, including sharks, bony fish, turtles, crocodilians, and other reptiles, as well as sea birds and a small number of terrestrial mammals.[3][4]

Reptiles

Plesiosaurs

Crocodilians

Turtles

Mammals

Mammals are relatively rare in the basin but include early Afrotherians, ungulates and primitive Proboscideans.[3]

Basal ungulates

Probosicidea

Creodonta

Birds

Bird fossils are common in the Basin, which includes the oldest birds in Africa.[4] At least three orders and several families of sea birds are represented, including Procellariiformes (albatrosses and petrels, fossils assignable to Diomedeidae and Procellariidae), Pelecaniformes (pelicans and allies, fossils assignable to Phaethontidae, Prophaethontidae, Fregatidae and Pelagornithidae), and Anseriformes (waterfowl, including fossil Presbyornithidae).[4]

See also

References

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  4. ^ a b c
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  9. ^ E. S. Gaffney, H. Tong, and P. A. Meylan. 2006. Evolution of the side-necked turtles: The families Bothremydidae, Euraxemydidae, and Araripemydidae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 300:1-318
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

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