The Tuareg Shield is an area lying between the West African craton and the Saharan Metacraton in West Africa. Named after the Tuareg people, it has complex a geology, reflecting the collision between these cratons and later events. The landmass covers parts of Algeria, Niger and Mali.
The Tuareg Shield is mainly composed of Archean or Paleoproterozoic terranes and Neoproterozoic terranes that amalgamated during the Pan African orogeny when the West African craton and the Saharan metacraton converged.
The western part of the Hoggar massif (Ahaggar Mountains) is made of material from the Pharusian Ocean including oceanic basalts, arc volcanic and sedimentary rocks and sediments that were shed into the Pharusian Ocean by the West African craton and the eastern Hoggar.
During the oblique collision of the West African craton with the Saharan metacraton, the shield was torn into separate but rigid moving blocks. These blocks were separated by subvertical shear zones.
At the start of the Phanerozoic the shield was eroded and covered by Ordovician sandstones. More recently, around 95 Ma - 90 Ma, the area was partly submerged by a seaway linking the Mediterranean and the proto-Atlantic. Since then, starting around 30 Ma the area rose by as much as 3000 meters.
- Gillian R. Foulger (2005). Plates, plumes, and paradigms. Geological Society of America. p. 385ff. ISBN 0-8137-2388-4.
- Richard P. Tollo (2004). Proterozoic tectonic evolution of the Grenville orogen in North America. Geological Society of America. pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-8137-1197-5.
- Rogers, John James William; Santosh, M. (2004). Continents and supercontinents. Oxford University Press US. p. 237. ISBN 0-19-516589-6.
- B. Marjorie Wilson (2007). Cenozoic volcanism in the Mediterranean area. Geological Society of America. p. 338. ISBN 0-8137-2418-X.