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Oligocene history of to early Miocene tectono-sedimentary the Alicante region (SE Spain): implications for Western Mediterranean evolutionNormal access

Author: T. Geel
Journal name: Basin Research
Issue: Vol 7, No 4, December 1995 pp. 313 - 336
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 2.52Mb )

The Alicante region, situated at the intersection of major Western Mediterranean structural units, is unique in possessing a complete marine Oligocene to early Miocene record of both platform and slope deposits. Detailed analysis of three selected platform areas in the north of the region, each showing a different tectono-sedimentary history, and comparison with coeval slope deposits in the south of the region shows that: (a) during the Rupelian to early Chattian the region formed part of the Iberian microplate and can be considered the south-eastern continuation of the NW-SE-trending Iberian Chain (folding phase between 36 and 33 Ma, updoming event at 31-29 Ma, both induced by Pyrenean collision); (b) during the late Chattian to Aquitanian it was linked to the extensional, SW-NE-orientated Valencia Trough forming part of its western margin (rifting phases at 28 and 25 Ma); (c) from the Aquitanian-Burdigalian boundary (20 Ma) onward, the region underwent NW-directed compression due to Betic collision (folding phases at 20 and 17 Ma); (d) a foreland basin formed in the late Burdigalian (18-17 Ma), continuous from the Betic Cordilleras over the Alicante region to the Balearics; (e) a purely compressive regime was superseded by strike-slip tectonics at the Langhian-Serravallian boundary. The previously formulated hypotheses of coeval compression and extension with inferred hypothetical strike-slip or other faults in or near the Alicante region is rejected on the basis that compressional and extensional tectonics are separated in time in the Alicante region.

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