The flux of siliciclastic sediment from the Iberian Peninsula, with particular reference to the Ebro
Graham Evans, Alfredo Arche, 2002. "The flux of siliciclastic sediment from the Iberian Peninsula, with particular reference to the Ebro", Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences, S.J. Jones, L.E. Frostick
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Today, the main flux of sediment from the Iberian Peninsula is carried to the Atlantic Ocean by westerly or northwesterly flowing rivers. The only major contribution of sediment from Iberia to the Mediterranean is that carried by the Ebro River, which flows along a foreland basin before cutting through the Catalan Ranges to form a delta in the adjacent Valencian Trough of the Mediterranean. During the Cretaceous and Early Eocene the sediment flux was to the northwest in this part of Iberia. During Late Eocene–Tortonian times it was mainly centripetal, as in other Tertiary Basins in Iberia. Beginning in the Seravallian–Tortonian the main flux of sediment has been to the adjacent Valencian Trough of the Mediterranean. This change in direction, it is proposed, was initiated in Pre-Messinian times by a small river cutting back into the Ebro Basin by headward erosion and was possibly aided, or even induced, by changes in palaeo-slope during contemporaneous rifting along the Mediterranean coast.
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There is an increasing trend in the Earth sciences towards the integration of many subdisciplines. The sedimendatry basin, is a fundamental focal point of many studies, which as a consequence often neglects the complimentary drainage basin or catchment. Sedimentary basins provide a record of Earth history, reflecting the geographical, lithological, oceanographic and ecological development through the rock record. Drainage basins in comparison record ephemeral landscape evolution, where topography is eroded and provides the flux of sediment to the basin. The basin fill reflects the sediment flux from the hinterland and provides evidence of the dynamic geomorphic processes. In context the drainage system and sedimentary basin can be regarded as a ‘production line’ with sedimentary record giving valuable insight into long-term landscape evolution and geomorphological processes illuminating the evolution of sedimentary basins.
This volume assesses the current position of understanding sediment supply to basins with the integration of the many sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences. It documents a mix of hinterland and sedimentary basin studies with a gradation from orogenic belts to the deep marine. The authors represent a wide spectrum of Earth scientist, with leaders in the science providing review papers and new-directive papers in their field of specialization.