Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dades Valley, Moroco

The first ~5 days of our trip were spent in the Dades Valley, an absolutely stunning valley rimmed with phenomenally exposed mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks! Here is one of my favorite views.

We had good weather (mostly), but one sudden splash of rain that had us running for the car in case of a wash out!

But that wasn't enough to deter us!

Just remember...

One the first day, Hannah and I went to look for the onset of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE). Here it is... the change to reddish shales... ohhh ahhh!

Also of interest are the first oolites after the OAE!

We were also on the look out for late Pliensbachian and early Toarcian ecosystems. Check out all these snails!

And some lovely modern flora as well!

What we were really after though were these bizarre bivalves... "Lithiotids". They formed reefs and thickets of huge plate-like shells in the Early Jurassic. These are special (and we will tell you why soon!)

A new road cut provided a fantastic outcrop!

Check out these beauties; look for the one large shell and one very fine, skinny shell!

These bivalves are "love"ly!

Here is a cool little fan of lithiotids.

The white lines are the lithiotid bivalves and the lithiotid enthusiast is my student, Hannah Brame.

Plus a few lovely echinoids!

While the best views are at the top of the mountains, there are some beautiful views down in the valley!

We also went to check out the Pliensbachian-Toarcian boundary... here marked by these 3 limestone units.

Above which are some lovely ripples with wrinkle markes in between!

Over the next few days the whole crew explored the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event in one of the valleys near Dades. It is a stunning drive in...

...but the trip out was a little bumpy!

The reddish shales mark the onset of the OAE. It is a beautiful section!

but we weren't the only ones out and about...
Local women transporting their harvest from one village to the other.
Off we go, up the hill to sample the OAE!

There is also a beautiful coral reef sitting just above the end of the OAE!

It was a wonderful trip! This is definitely one of my favorite field crews!

Off we go to the next area... but first a delicious kefta tajine overlooking Boulamine Dades!

A perfect lunch spot!

More soon my fossil enthusiasts!

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