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Geological Map of the Republic of Djibouti - PDF

1st edition, 2015
Projection : UTM, zone 38N, datum WGS 84
Scale : 1: 200 000
Authors : Bernard Le Gall, Mohamed Ahmed Daoud, René Maury, Françoise Gasse, Joël Rolet, Mohamed Jalludin, Antoine-Marie Caminiti, Nima Moussa
© Centre d'Etude et de Recherche de Djibouti (CERD) and CCGM 2015

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The small surface of the Republic of Djibouti, approximatively similar to those of Brittany in western France, is the privileged host of one of the most emblematic geological sites on Earth, the Asal Rift. With its entablature of basaltic lavas, carved up in strips by a network of faults, the Asal fault-bounded trough, whose floor is 150 m below the level of the Ghoubbet Sea, is the result of evolved continental lithospheric stretching and thinning, ahead of the Aden oceanic ridge between the Arabian and Somalian plates.

These first-order geodynamic processes, close to incipient continental breakup, are exceptionally exposed in Djibouti, but paradoxically, their regional geological context has not been so far reported in any cartographic document. This gap is now filled up by the Geological Map of the Republic of Djibouti at the scale of 1:200 000(published by the Commission of the Geological Map of the World), compiled between 2011 and 2015 under the coordination of Bernard Le Gall (University of Brest/CNRS-French National Research Center) and thanks to the cooperation of scientists from the “Oceanic Domains” Laboratory of the University of Brest (René Maury and Joël Rolet) and from the CERD-Center of Studies and Research of Djibouti.

This original document results from the synthesis of 10 existing maps at the scale of 1:100 000, combined with data recently collected in the field and from satellite imagery. The map highlights the main components of theAfar system in Djibouti, which are:

- the preponderance of the synrift volcanism whose basaltic and acidic lavas, emitted about 30 millions years ago (Ma) in the context of the Afar mantle plume, cover more than 70% of the Djiboutian territory.

-  the importance of the fault network, < 3 Ma in age, which is the surface expression of the crustal extension and accounts for the typical tilted fault-block and half-graben morphology of Djibouti, as expressed in the impressive Asal rift.

- the diversity of sedimentary deposits of either continental origin such as the terrigenous filling of fault-controlled troughs, or of marin origin such as the evaporites of Asal and the reef limestone fringing the Gulf of Tadjourah.

- the existence of pre-rifting substratum terranes represented by Mesozoic sandstone and limestones in the Ali Sabieh sector, the antiform structure of which is attributed to a laccolith intrusion at an early rifting stage.

- the marine geology of the Ghoubbet, Gulf of Tadjourah and approaches of Bab el Mandeb includes fault networks and submarine volcanoes identified on the available bathymetric documents.