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Evolution of the Iberian Massif as deduced from its crustal thickness and geometry of a mid-crustal (Conrad) discontinuity

AuthorsMartínez Catalán, J. R.; Ayarza, P.; Martínez García, Ana; Alcalde, Juan CSIC ORCID ; Andrés, Juvenal CSIC ORCID ; Simancas, José Fernando; Palomeras, Imma; Martí, David CSIC ORCID ; DeFelipe, Irene CSIC ORCID CVN ; Juhlin, C.; Carbonell, Ramón CSIC ORCID
KeywordsIberian Massif
vertical incidence seismic data
mid-crustal detachment
geodynamic evolution
Issue Date2021
PublisherCopernicus Publications
CitationSolid Earth: (2021)
AbstractNormal incidence seismic data provide the best images of the crust and lithosphere. When properly designed and continuous, these sections greatly contribute to understanding the geometry of orogens and, together with surface geology, to unravel their evolution. In this paper we present an almost complete transect of the Iberian Massif, the westernmost exposure of the European Variscides. Despite the heterogeneity of the dataset, acquired during the last 30 years, the images resulting from reprocessing with a homogeneous workflow allow us to clearly define the crustal thickness and its internal architecture. The Iberian Massif crust, formed by the amalgamation of continental pieces belonging to Gondwana and Laurussia (Avalonian margin) is well structured in upper and lower crust. A conspicuous mid-crustal discontinuity is clearly defined by the top of the reflective lower crust and by the asymptotic geometry of reflections that merge into it, suggesting that it has often acted as a detachment. The geometry and position of this discontinuity can give us insights on the evolution of the orogen, i.e. of the effects and extent of the late Variscan gravitational collapse. Also, its position and the limited thickness of the lower crust in central and NW Iberia constraints the response of the Iberian microplate to Alpine shortening. This discontinuity is here observed as an orogeny-scale feature with characteristics compatible with those of the worldwide, Conrad discontinuity.
Publisher version (URL)
Identifiersdoi: 10.5194/se-2020-158
issn: 1869-9529
Appears in Collections:(Geo3Bcn) Artículos

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