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Abstract

In the outermost region of the southeastern Pyrenees, a suite of thrusted folds detach above an upper Eocene salt that was about 300 m thick before deformation. The foremost anticlines formed during the Oligocene and represent a small amount of shortening. In map view, they display a relay pattern slightly oblique to the margin of the salt layer, where deformation stops. The three-dimensional edge effects caused by the pinch-out of the Cardona salt play an important role in the development of the frontal structures in the southeastern Pyrenees.

Fold evolution has been reconstructed by interpreting variations along the strike of the folds as an indicator of deformation sequence. Where the sedimentary pile contains an upper detachment, thrusts developed fishtail geometries in which thrusts of alternating vergence were stacked up. Where an upper detachment is lacking, a thrusted anticline formed, into whose core salt migrated during the early phases of folding. Whether or not an upper detachment is present, anticlines continued to amplify during and after thrusting. Folding blocked further slip on some thrusts and promoted the development of pop-up structures.

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