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ABSTRACT

During the Eocene, the Alicante region formed part of the southern passive margin of the Iberian continent. Shelf deposits are found in the northwest and north, slope sediments in the south and southeast parts of the region. On the platforms 14 Eocene 3rd-order cycles can be recognized. They are separated by erosional, karstic or dolomitized surfaces, or paleosoils. The coeval slope deposits contain both lowstand wedges (mass flows and calciturbidites) and late-highstand wedges (calciturbidites). Lithoclasts and loose foraminifera in these mass flows and turbidites were used to identify adjacent platforms and their sequence stratigraphic history. Three sequence boundaries are coincident with tectonic events (during the middle Middle Eocene, at the Middle/Late Eocene boundary, and during the late Late Eocene). These tectonic events, together with differential subsidence during cycle deposition and correlation with plate-tectonic events point to tectonic control of the majority of the south Spanish cycles. Glacio-eustatic fall may have made an important contribution in producing the sequence boundary at the Middle/Late Eocene boundary. The sequence boundary at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary may be explained exclusively by glacio-eustasy.

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