WP-4

Applied Geology

Main objectives are to increase the synergies among multidisciplinary studies to investigate the origin of key mineral economic resources in NW Africa, and to investigate the use of new natural geomaterials for societal and industrial applications.

Beneficiary/Participant 

CSIC, UM2, UAE, UCAM, UNIMUABB, UORAN, USTHB, UFAS, CNRSM

WP

Head of working group

 Applied Geology

Fakher Jamoussi (CNRSM) & Michel Séranne (UM)

Task 4.1: Phosphate economic deposits in late cretaceous to Eocene epicontinental basins

Hassane Chellai (UCAM)Michel Séranne(UM)Rabah Laouar (UBMA)

Task 4.2: fluid and tectonic related to the genesis of economic deposits

Lakhlifi Badra (UNIM)Moulley Charaf Chabou (UFAS), Alain Chauvet (UM), Fernando Gervilla (CSIC-UGR)

Task 4.3: Industrial applications of geomaterials

Alberto Lopez Galindo (CSIC)Lala Setti Belaroui (UORAN)Walid Hajjaji (CNRSM)

Description of work

Task 4.1 : Phosphate Economic Deposits in Late Cretaceous to Eocene epicontinental basins:  This task will address the origin of the largest phosphate deposits of the world found in Morocco. We will: (i) investigate why these basins record very slow detrital inputs (only ±100m during 30 Myr) despite the large uplift of nearby continental sources during their formation (this research will be done in collaboration with researchers working on tasks WP1-3); (ii) characterize the stratigraphy and structural distribution of dissolution structures to improve our understanding of phosphate deposition and to improve the mining and exploration of the deposits; (iii) investigate the geochemistry of phosphates which is very diverse and enriched in trace elements such as strategic Rare Earth Elements. This will allow obtaining a better estimate of these strategic elements, and other valuable elements at the scale of basins, sedimentary sequences, lithological facies and samples, including element speciation in solid phases. Geochemical fingerprinting will allow gaining a better understanding of the processes involved in the origin of these enigmatic economic deposits.

Task 4.2Fluids and tectonics related to the genesis of economic deposits: This task will explore some key resources formed by the interaction of fluids formed during orogenic processes that have led to the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits and how they are related to deep processes.

Task 4.3: Industrial applications of geomaterials: Volcanic activity and basin evolution associated with the geodynamic evolution of NW Africa has formed important and diverse resources of clay-group minerals of great industrial interest. This task will investigate the new industrial uses of these geomaterials as a way to increase the economic value of these natural resources, as a mean to increase the capacities of MPC. We will investigate the use of special clays (magnesium sepiolite, palygorskite, smectite, etc.) in applications in pharmacy, thalassic therapy SPA, manufacturing lightweight aggregates, ceramic manufacturing, manufacturing of ceramic membranes, and manufacturing of glasses from quartz. Synergies with researchers involved in WP2 will allow gaining a better understanding of the geological environment conditions of specific clays of industrial interest.