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Book Chapter

Miocene Shale Tectonics in the Northern Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean)

By
Juan I. Soto
Juan I. Soto
Departamento de Geodinamica and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cienttficas-University of Granada), Granada, Spain
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Fermín Fernández-Ibáñez
Fermín Fernández-Ibáñez
GeoMechanics International, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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Asrar R. Talukder
Asrar R. Talukder
Australian Resources Research Centre, Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization, Kensington, Western Australia, Australia
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Pedro Martínez-García
Pedro Martínez-García
Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cienttficas-University of Granada), Granada, Spain
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The Alboran Basin is a back-arc basin in the Mediterranean developed during the Miocene by the extensional collapse of the thick continental orogen known as the Betic-Rif arc. Collision and basin formation occurred in the Neogene as a result of oblique convergence of the Eurasian and African plates. A major, curved depocenter (with sedimentary accumulations >10 km [>6 mi]) is located to the west of this basin, containing a diapiric province with overpressured shales and mud volcanoes. This study presents a detailed reconstruction of the three-dimensional geometry of the diapirs and associated minibasins in the northern margin of this major depo-center (offshore Spain). Basin formation began in the early Miocene when rapid initial subsidence of the basin floor was accompanied by massive sedimentation and burial of fine-grained sediments. Gravity-driven tectonics and continuous basement subsidence during the Miocene led to downslope migration of mobile shales, whereas the basin margins were affected by syn-sedimentary extension, and associated shale-cored thrusts occurred in the basin depocenter. Extension occurred by means of low-angle normal faults coalescing with the basement surface, which represents a master detachment surface. Thin-skinned extension during the Miocene was accompanied by punctuated diapir ascent and the advance of shale sheets. Downslope shale advance was enhanced by counterregional high-angle normal faults isolating noncylin-drical minibasins in the overburden. The Alboran Basin therefore is a useful area for analysis of the structural pattern associated with shale tectonicprocesses and a key basin for comparing the geometries and evolution of shale with structures formed in salt basins.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Shale Tectonics

Lesli J. Wood
Lesli J. Wood
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
93
ISBN electronic:
9781629810089
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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