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Book Chapter

Cretaceous

By
Javier Martín-Chivelet
Javier Martín-Chivelet
(coordinators)
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Xavier Berástegui
Xavier Berástegui
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Idoia Rosales
Idoia Rosales
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Lorenzo Vilas
Lorenzo Vilas
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Juan Antonio Vera
Juan Antonio Vera
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Esmeralda Caus
Esmeralda Caus
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Kai-Uwe Grôfe
Kai-Uwe Grôfe
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Ramón Mas
Ramón Mas
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Carmen Puig
Carmen Puig
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Manuel Segura
Manuel Segura
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Sergio Robles
Sergio Robles
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Marc Floquet
Marc Floquet
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Santiago Quesada
Santiago Quesada
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Pedro A. Ruiz-Ortiz
Pedro A. Ruiz-Ortiz
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M. Antonia Fregenal-Martínez
M. Antonia Fregenal-Martínez
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Ramón Salas
Ramón Salas
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Consuelo Arias
Consuelo Arias
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Alvaro García
Alvaro García
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Agustín Martín-Algarra
Agustín Martín-Algarra
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M. Nieves Meléndez
M. Nieves Meléndez
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Beatriz chacón
Beatriz chacón
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José Miguel Molina
José Miguel Molina
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José Luis Sanz
José Luis Sanz
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José Manuel Castro
José Manuel Castro
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Manuel García-Hernández
Manuel García-Hernández
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Beatriz Carenas
Beatriz Carenas
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José García-Hidalgo
José García-Hidalgo
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Javier Gil
Javier Gil
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Francisco Ortega
Francisco Ortega
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Published:
January 01, 2002

Abstract

Cretaceous rocks crop out extensively in the three main Alpine orogenic belts of Spain: the Betic Cordillera, the Pyrenees and the Iberian Ranges. These rocks, deformed during Cenozoic Alpine convergence, are almost entirely sedimentary (with the exception of rare volcanic and meta-morphic rocks) and were deposited in an enormous variety of environments ranging from alluvial fans to pelagic seas. There were four main basins – Betic, Pyrenean, Basque-Cantabrian and Iberian (Fig. 12.1) – each of which originated in Triassic and Jurassic times in response to continental break-up at the start of the Alpine cycle. They subsequently underwent a polyphase evolution in the Cretaceous period when palaeo-geography and sedimentation in Iberia were strongly influenced by the relative movements of the contiguous Eurasian and African plates. Initiation of the North Atlantic spreading in earliest Cretaceous time led to a decrease in relative sinistral motion between Iberia and Africa (e.g. Ziegler 1988a). This was followed by a phase of rapid counterclockwise rotation of Iberia relative to Europe and the progressive opening of the Bay of Biscay, which lasted from late Aptian to early Campanian times (e.g. Olivet 1996). Finally, a third phase of basin evolution was heralded by the onset of Late Cretaceous oblique convergence between Africa and Europe (e.g. Savostin et al. 1986; Reicherter & Pletsch 2000).

In addition to this changing tectonic setting, other factors, such as climate and eustasy, were also important controlling influences. The Cretaceous climate of Iberia

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Geology of Series

The Geology of Spain

Wes Gibbons
Wes Gibbons
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Teresa Moreno
Teresa Moreno
Jaume Almera Institute, CSIC, Barcelona
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Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
9781862393912
Publication date:
January 01, 2002

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