Lower Permian magmatism of the Iberian Chain, Central Spain, and its relationship to extensional tectonics
M. Lago, E. Arranz, A. Pocoví, C. Galé, A. Gil-Imaz, 2004. "Lower Permian magmatism of the Iberian Chain, Central Spain, and its relationship to extensional tectonics", Permo-Carboniferous Magmatism and Rifting in Europe, M. Wilson, E.-R. Neumann, G. R. Davies, M. J. Timmerman, M. Heeremans, B. T. Larsen
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Late Variscan magmatism in the Iberian Chain (Central Spain) is recorded by the presence of both pyroclastic units and high-level intrusions (sills and dykes). This magmatism encompasses a variety of subalkaline igneous rocks, from basalt to rhyolite; andesitic rocks are, however, dominant. The pyroclastic units contain plant fossils and pollen that suggest an Autunian age, which is consistent with the available K–Ar radiometric age data (283–292 Ma) obtained for the hypabyssal intrusions. Earlier amphibole-rich andesite, rich in crustal xenoliths (metapelite, granitoid and quartzite fragments) and xenocrysts (e.g. garnet) suggest the occurrence of significant crustal assimilation in the petrogenesis of the intermediate magmas, whereas later intrusions (pyroxene-rich andesites, basalts and some rhyolites) lack any crustal xenoliths or xenocrysts. Crustal assimilation is also suggested by the radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr290 and negative εNd290 values for all the studied rocks. The cross-cutting relationships between the different rock types provide evidence for a multi-stage magmatic evolution, coeval with the post-orogenic transtensive evolution of the southern Variscan belt in Europe. A significant hiatus, covering the Middle Permian and most of the Upper Permian, separates this Lower Permian magmatism from the subsequent Triassic and Jurassic alkaline magmatism that represents different rifting events that affected the Iberian Chain, progressively thinning the Variscan crust as the Alpine cycle began.
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Widespread extension occurred within the Variscan orogen and its northern foreland during Late Carboniferous to Early Permian times. This was associated with magmatism and with a fundamental change, at the Westphalian-Stephanian boundary, in the regional stress field, coincident with the termination of orogenic activity and onset of dextral translation between North Africa and Europe. Rifting propagated across basement terranes with different ages and thermal histories. Most of the rift basins developed on relatively thin lithosphere; however, the highly magmatic Oslo Graben initiated within the edge of a craton. Early Stephanian regional uplift is contemporaneous with the onset of magmatism, inviting speculation that it might have been induced by a thermal anomaly within the upper mantle. The contributions to this volume suggest that the geodynamic setting in which magmatism occurred was complex, involving wrench tectonics, slab detachment, and delamination or thermal erosion of the base of the lithosphere.