The structure of the South-Central-Pyrenean fold and thrust belt as constrained by subsurface data
Keywords:Pyrenees, seismic data, cut-off and branch line
The interpretation of the available seismic lines of the South-Central-Pyrenean fold and thrust belt, conveniently tied with the exploration wells, define the main structural features of this realm of the Pyrenees. In particular, they define the geometry and areal extension of the autochthonous foreland underneath the sole thrust. The mapping of
several selected structural lines brings constraints for the structural interpretation of the South-Central Pyrenees, including the cut-off lines between selected stratigraphic horizons of the autochthonous foreland and the branch line between basement-involved thrust sheets and the sole thrust. The thrust salient which characterizes at surface the geometry of the South-Pyrenean fold and thrust belt contrasts with the linear trend of these structural lines at subsurface. This salient has been the result of a secondary progressive curvature developed since Middle Eocene times by thrust displacement gradients during verthrusting of the South-Pyrenean thrust sheets above a Paleogene autochthonous sequence. Displacement gradients resulted from the uneven distribution of weak salt layers, mostly the Triassic and the Upper Eocene ones. The minimum amount of South-directed displacement from early Middle
Eocene times to Late Oligocene is 52km, which would be significantly higher if internal shortening by folding and cleavage/fracture development as well as hanging-wall erosion is added.
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