Assessment tract permissive of mixed stratabound potash-bearing salt and halokinetic potash-bearing salt in Algeria-Libya-Morocco-Tunisia

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Geologic information

Deposit typemixed stratabound potash-bearing salt and halokinetic potash-bearing salt
Evaporite basinSaharan
Basin typemarine rift basin
Geologic unitSaliferous Units
Tectonic settingdivergent margin
Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic
Minimum:Mesozoic-Jurassic-Lower Jurassic
Maximum:Mesozoic-Triassic-Upper Triassic
Potassium minerals:
Notes:Approximate area of potash-bearing salts and sulfates of the Saliferous Unit.

Economic information

Known K sites?Yes
Identified resources?No
Feature typesalt
Quality of informationE: Less than ten references with essentially no details or point information.
Assessment year2011
Assessment depth3km
AssessorsMark D. Cocker (USGS)
Qualitative assessmentR5: Very little information exists.
Tract delineationThe Saharan tract represents the extent of halite and sulfate salts within the Saharan evaporite basin. Original tract boundaries were approximated based on a figure from Turner and Sherif (2007, fig. 13), and were then modified based to include known potash and salt occurrences of the appropriate age. Geology from the African metallogenic map of Veselinovic-Williams and Frost-Killian (2003) was used to exclude areas where surface rocks were too old to host deposits.

Reference information

Nearby dataMorocco, Algeria
Al-Aasm, I.S., and Abdallah, H., 2006, The origin of dolomite associated with salt diapirs in central Tunisia; Preliminary investigations of field relationships and geochemistry: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 89, p. 5-9.
Arab Organisation for Mineral Resources, 1987, Mineral deposit map of the Arab world; Explanatory notes and maps: Rabat, Morocco, Arab Organisation for Mineral Resources, 430 p.
Boukadi, N., and Bedir, M., 1996, L'halocinese en Tunisie; Contexte tectonique et chronologie des evenements: Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences, v. 322, series 2a, p. 587-594.
Demaison, G.J., 1965, The Triassic salt in the Algerian Sahara, in Institute of Petroleum, Salt basins around Africa; Proceedings of a joint meeting of The Institute of Petroleum and The Geological Society, London, March 3, 1965, Proceedings: London, The Institute of Petroleum, p. 91-100.
Ivanov, A.A., 1969, Developed and undeveloped potash deposits in Africa: Lithology and Mineral Resources, v. 2, p. 187-195.
Jallouli, Chokri; Chikhaoui, Mongi; Braham, Ahmed; Turki, M.M.; Mickus, Kevin; and Benassi, Ramdhane, 2005, Evidence for Triassic salt domes in the Tunisian Atlas from gravity and geological data: Tectonophysics, v. 396, p. 209-225.
Klett, T.R., 2000, Total Petroleum Systems of the Trias/Ghadames Province, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya; The Tanezzuft-Oued Mya, Tanezzuft-Melrhir, and Tanezzuft-Ghadames: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2202-C, 22 p., appendixes and tables, accessed October 2, 2012, at
Olsen, P.E., Kent, D.V., and Et-Touhami, Mohammed, 2003, Chronology and stratigraphy of the Fundy and related Nova Scotia offshore basins and Morocco based on core and outcrop, in Brown, D., Conventional Core Workshop, Halifax, March 27-29, 2003: Geological Society of America (NE Section) and Atlantic Geoscience Society Joint Annual Conference, p. 51-63. (Also available at
Tortochaux, F., 1968, Occurrence and structue of evaporites in North Africa, in Mattox, R.B., Holser, W.T., Ode, H., McIntire, W.L., Short, N.M., Taylor, R.E., and Van Siclen, D.C., eds., Saline deposits; A synposium based on papers from the International Conference on Saline Deposits, Houston, Tex., 1962, Proceedings: New York, Geological Society of America Special Paper 88, p. 107-138.
Turner, P., and Sherif, H., 2007, A giant Late Triassic-Early Jurassic evaporitic basin on the Saharan Platform, North Africa, in Schreiber, B.C., Lugli, S., and Babel, M., eds., Evaporites through space and time: London, Geological Society Special Publication 285, p. 87-105.
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