Middle-Upper Triassic stratigraphy and structure in the Alt Palància region (eastern Iberian Chain): A multidisciplinary approach

F. Ortí, J. Guimerà, A.E. Götz


The present study provides new data of the Middle-Upper Triassic successions and their deformation in the eastern Iberian Chain, where contractional tectonics during the Cenozoic disrupted this Mediterranean type of Triassic rocks. The succession, divided into three Muschelkalk units, was studied in the Alt Palància area. In this area, both the lower and upper Muschelkalk consist of two main types of sub-units, those made up of carbonate and those of carbonate-marl alternation. The marked similarity observed between the evaporite units of the middle Muschelkalk and the Keuper humpers their unambiguous discrimination in the field. The integration of geological mapping, stratigraphic logging, palynological dating and gypsum isotope analysis carried out provided that: i) a change in the structural style, facies, and depositional thickness occurs across a SW to NE transect at both sides of the Espina-Espadà Fault, providing evidence for the extensional activity of this major structure; ii) palynological data assign Anisian age to the Röt facies and the lower and the middle Muschelkalk units, and Ladinian to the upper Muschelkalk unit; iii) the δ34SCDT and δ18OSMOW values of gypsum reveal as a useful proxy to discriminate between the middle Muschelkalk (δ34S: 15.6 to 17.8‰) and the Keuper (δ34S: 14 to 15.5‰) units; and iv) the isotopic signature also helps to identify clayey-marly gypsiferous outcrops made up of the two evaporite facies due to tectonic juxtaposition. These results confirm the Mediterranean type of Triassic rocks for the entire Alt Palància and other areas to the NE. This multidisciplinary approach reveals as a robust methodology to study Triassic basins in Iberia and to other geological domains where the carbonate-evaporite successions have been greatly disrupted by tectonism.


Triassic; Stratigraphy; Structural geology; Palynology; Isotopy; Iberian Chain

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/GeologicaActa2020.18.4


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Geologica Acta (ISSN-1695-6133)
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