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Crustal deformation styles along the reprocessed deep seismic reflection transect of the Central Iberian Zone (Iberian Peninsula)

AuthorsEhsan, Siddique ; Carbonell, Ramón ; Ayarza, P.; Martí, David ; Pérez-Estaún, Andrés ; Martínez-Poyatos, David; Simancas, José Fernando; Azor, Antonio ; Mansilla, Luís
KeywordsDeep reflection seismic
Variscan Orogen
Central Iberian Zone
Crustal structure
Moho discontinuity
Issue Date5-Mar-2014
AbstractThe multichannel normal incidence (230 km long) deep seismic reflection profile ALCUDIA was acquired in summer 2007. This transect samples an intracontinental Variscan orogenic crust going across, from north to south, the major crustal domain (the Central Iberian Zone) and its suture zone with the Ossa–Morena Zone (the Central Unit) both build up most of the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula basement. This high resolution (60–90 fold) profile images about 70 km depth (20 s TWTT) of the continental lithosphere. A new data processing flow provides better structural constraints on the shallow and deep structures resulting in an image that reveals indentation features which strongly suggest horizontal tectonics. The ALCUDIA seismic image shows an upper crust c. 13 km thick decoupled from the comparatively reflective lower crust. The shallow reflectivity of the upper crust can be correlated with surface geological features mapped in the field whereas the deep reflectivity represents inferred imbricate thrust systems and listric extensional faults. The reflectivity of the mid-lower crust is continuous, high amplitude, and horizontal to arcuate though evidences of deformation are present as ductile boudinage structures, thrusting and an upper mantle wedge, suggesting a transpressional flower structure. The image reveals a laminated c. 1.5 km thick, subhorizontal to flat Moho indicating an average crustal thickness of 31–33 km. The Moho shows laterally variable signature, being highly reflective beneath the Central Iberian Zone, but discontinuous and diffuse below the Ossa–Morena Zone. The gravity response suggests relatively high density bodies in the mid-lower crust of the southern half of the transect. The seismic results suggest two major horizontal limits, a horizontal discontinuity at c. 13–15 km (corresponding to the brittle–ductile transition) and the Moho boundary both suggested to act as decoupling surfaces.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2014.02.014
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