Structure of an inverted basin from subsurface and field data: the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Maestrat Basin (Iberian Chain)
Keywords:Basin inversion, Fault-bend fold, Vertical tectonic step, Low-dip ramp, Salt flow
The Maestrat Basin experienced two main rifting events: Late Permian-Late Triassic and Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, and was inverted during the Cenozoic Alpine orogeny. During the inversion, an E-W-trending, N-verging fold-and-thrust belt developed along its northern margin, detached in the Triassic evaporites, while southwards it also involved the Variscan basement. A structural study of the transition between these two areas is presented, using 2D seismic profiles, exploration wells and field data, to characterize its evolution during the Mesozoic extension and the Cenozoic contraction.
The S-dipping Maestrat basement thrust traverses the Maestrat Basin from E to W; it is the result of the Cenozoic inversion of the lower segment–within the acoustic basement–of the Mesozoic extensional fault system that generated the Salzedella sub-basin. The syn-rift Lower Cretaceous rocks filling the Salzedella sub-basin thicken progressively northwards, from 350m to 1100m. During the inversion, a wide uplifted area –40km wide in the N-S direction– developed in the hanging wall of the Maestrat basement thrust. This uplifted area is limited to the North by the E-W-trending Calders monocline, whose limb is about 13km wide in its central part, dips about 5ºN, and generates a vertical tectonic step of 800-1200m. We interpreted the Calders monocline as a fault-bend fold; therefore, a flat-ramp-flat geometry is assumed in depth for the Maestrat basement thrust. The northern synformal hinge of the Calders monocline coincides with the transition from thick-skinned to thin-skinned areas. The vast uplifted area and the low-dip of the monocline suggest a very low-dip for the basement ramp, rooted in the upper crust. The Calders monocline narrows and disappears laterally, in coincidence with the outcrop of the Maestrat basement thrust.
The evaporitic Middle Muschelkalk detachment conditioned the structural style. Salt structures are also related to it; they developed during the Late Triassic extension, as deduced from the Keuper seismic reflectors that onlap the folded Upper Muschelkalk and form growth strata above some basement normal faults.
The commercial rights of the printed and online versions of Geologica Acta are property of the UB, ICTJA, IDAEA and UAB, and Geologica Acta must be cited for any partial or full reproduction.
The opinions and conclusions stated in each article are the exclusive responsability of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with those of the above mentioned institutions UB, ICTJA, IDAEA and UAB.
Authors retain the copyright on their papers (accepted manuscript, uncorrected proof and published paper) and are authorized to post them on their own Web page or their institutional repositories. In all cases, the complete citation and a link to the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the article must be included.
The authors can use excerpts or reproduce illustrations of their papers in other works without prior permission of Geologica Acta provided the source of the paper including the complete citation is fully acknowledged.
Papers are distributed under the Attribution-Share Alike Creative Commons License. This license allows others to alter, remix or build upon a paper and the resulting work may be distributed under the same or similar license to this one.