INTRODUCTION: A SYNTHESIS OF CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE STRUCTURAL EVOLUTION OF NORTH AFRICA
G. Badalini+*, J. Redfern* and I. Carr*
*North Africa Research Group, Geology (BMS), Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford OX3 0BP.
The aim of this introduction is to highlight the key tectonic events which have had significance in terms of the petroleum geology of the North African region at a basinal scale. We attempt briefly to summarise the geodynamic evolution of the ancient North African palaeocontinent, and to review the major orogenic events which deformed it during its migration from high southern latitudes in the Early Palaeozoic to its present-day position. These include the major Hercynian and Alpine orogenies and the Mesozoic extensional phase, as well as a series of "minor" though still significant tectonic events which reactivated north, NE, NW and ENE-striking structures inherited from the Pan-African Orogeny (Figs. 1, 2 and 3).