Plio-Quaternary tectonic evolution of the southern margin of the Alboran Basin (Western Mediterranean)
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Lafosse, M., d'Acremont, E., Rabaute, A., Estrada, F., Jollivet-Castelot, M., Vazquez, J. T., ... & Gorini, C. (2020). Plio-Quaternary tectonic evolution of the southern margin of the Alboran Basin (Western Mediterranean). Solid Earth, 11, 741–765. [https://doi.org/10.5194/se-11-741-2020]
SponsorshipThis research has been supported by the CNRSINSU-TOTAL-BRGM-IFREMER Actions Marges program, EUROFLEETS program FP7/2007-2013 (grant no. 228344), EU Regional Structural Fund (grant no. FICTS-2011-03-01) and DAMAGE Project (project no. FEDER/CGL2016-80687-R AEI), Fauces Project (project no. FEDER/CTM2015-65461-C2-R; MINCI), ALBAMAR Project (project no. ANR/ANR-17-CE03-0004).
Progress in the understanding and dating of the sedimentary record of the Alboran Basin allows us to propose a model of its tectonic evolution since the Pliocene. After a period of extension, the Alboran Basin underwent a progressive tectonic inversion starting around 9–7.5 Ma. The Alboran Ridge is a NE–SW transpressive structure accommodating the shortening in the basin. We mapped its southwestern termination, a Pliocene rhombic structure exhibiting series of folds and thrusts. The active Al-Idrissi Fault zone (AIF) is a Pleistocene strike-slip structure trending NNE– SSW. The AIF crosses the Alboran Ridge and connects to the transtensive Nekor Basin and the Nekor Fault to the south. In the Moroccan shelf and at the edge of a submerged volcano we dated the inception of the local subsidence at 1.81– 1.12 Ma. The subsidence marks the propagation of the AIF toward the Nekor Basin. Pliocene thrusts and folds and Quaternary transtension appear at first sight to act at different tectonic periods but reflect the long-term evolution of a transpressive system. Despite the constant direction of Africa– Eurasia convergence since 6 Ma, along the southern margin of the Alboran Basin, the Pliocene–Quaternary compression evolves from transpressive to transtensive along the AIF and the Nekor Basin. This system reflects the logical evolution of the deformation of the Alboran Basin under the indentation of the African lithosphere.