Connection between the Jurassic oceanic lithosphere of the Gulf of Cádiz and the Alboran slab imaged by Sp receiver functions
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AuthorMolina-Aguilera, Antonio; Mancilla, Flor de Lis; Morales, José; Stich, Daniel; Yuan, Xiaohui; Heit, Benjamin
Geological Society of America
Molina-Aguilera, A., et al., 2019, Connection between the Jurassic oceanic lithosphere of the Gulf of Cádiz and the Alboran slab imaged by Sp receiver functions: Geology, v. 47, p. 227–230,
SponsorshipThis work was supported by the Spanish national projects CGL2015-67130-C2-2-R/FEDER and CGL2012-31472.
We investigate the lithospheric structure beneath the Gibraltar arc (western Mediterranean) using S-wave receiver functions (SRFs). From a dense network deployed in the Ibero-Maghrebian region during different seismic surveys, we calculated ~11,000 SRFs that sample the upper mantle detecting the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The observed seismic LAB belongs to different lithospheric domains: Iberian and African forelands, Alboran domain, and Atlantic Ocean. Common conversion point (CCP) migrated profiles show the geometrical relation among them. Under the Strait of Gibraltar, we observe a deep LAB (~150 km). It can be associated with Jurassic-age lithosphere of ~120 km thickness, one of the thickest ever reported in oceanic environments. There is an abrupt offset between the oceanic LAB and the shallow (80-km-deep) continental LAB of the Iberian foreland, suggesting displacement along a former transform fault. The northwestern African continental LAB is 90–100 km deep. The oceanic LAB under the Gibraltar arc continues to ~180 km depth beneath the Alboran Sea, showing the connection between the Alboran slab and the oceanic lithosphere in the central Gulf of Cádiz. This geometry agrees with an ~200-km-wide corridor of oceanic lithosphere between the central Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys, developed during the Middle–Late Jurassic. Our results support the proposed westward rollback of an oceanic east-dipping slab, which has continuity at least to the central Gulf of Cádiz.