Tectonic classification of Cenozoic Iberian foreland basins

G. de Vicente, S.A.P.L. Cloetingh, J.D.A.M. van Wees, P. Cunha

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The Iberian microcontinent stands out because of its intense Alpine intraplate deformation. This is reflected in a large number of Cenozoic basins of very different sizes. Most of the contacts between topographic highs and basins are thrust or strike-slip faults. All these basins seem to have undergone a common sedimentary evolution, comprising four stages: initiation of sedimentation, intense syn-tectonic infilling, change from endorheic to exorheic drainage, and accelerated erosion related to fluvial incision. This simple evolutionary model shows a migration from East to West, in which basins are still tectonically active at the Atlantic margin of Iberia. This common evolution is also found in a series of geometrical characteristics, such as the ratio r of length of strike-slip fault and length of thrust fault, that are very similar in both types of basin border settings. Thrust-related basins are mainly associated with segmented pop-downs, whereas the main basins have the characteristics of open-ramp basins. Strike-slip related basins are mostly transpressive structures, although small pull-apart basins are usual along the Vilariça and Messejana faults. For basin areas larger than 100-1000km
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-61
    Issue number502
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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