TitleSeismic and gravity constraints on the nature of the basement in the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary: New insights for the geodynamic evolution of the SW Iberian margin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMartínez-Loriente S, Sallares V, Grácia E, Bartolomé R, Dañobeitia JJosé, Zitellini N
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Date Publishedjan
KeywordsCentral and North Atlantic kinematics, crustal nature, geological domains, gravity modeling, refraction and reflection traveltime tomography, wide-angle seismics
AbstractWe present a new classification of geological domains at the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary off SW Iberia, together with a regional geodynamic reconstruction spanning from the Mesozoic extension to the Neogene-to-present- day convergence. It is based on seismic velocity and density models along a new transect running from the Horseshoe to the Seine abyssal plains, which is combined with previously available geophysical models from the region. The basement velocity structure at the Seine Abyssal Plain indicates the presence of a highly heterogeneous, thin oceanic crust with local high-velocity anomalies possibly representing zones related to the presence of ultramafic rocks. The integration of this model with previous ones reveals the presence of three oceanic domains offshore SW Iberia: (1) the Seine Abyssal Plain domain, generated during the first stages of slow seafloor spreading in the NE Central Atlantic (Early Jurassic); (2) the Gulf of Cadiz domain, made of oceanic crust generated in the Alpine-Tethys spreading system between Iberia and Africa, which was coeval with the formation of the Seine Abyssal Plain domain and lasted up to the North Atlantic continental breakup (Late Jurassic); and (3) the Gorringe Bank domain, made of exhumed mantle rocks, which formed during the first stages of North Atlantic opening. Our models suggest that the Seine Abyssal Plain and Gulf of Cadiz domains are separated by the Lineament South strike-slip fault, whereas the Gulf of Cadiz and Gorringe Bank domains appear to be limited by a deep thrust fault located at the center of the Horseshoe Abyssal Plain. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.