Alpine tectonics II: Betic Cordillera and Balearic Islands
José Miguel Azañón, Jesús Galindo-Zaldívar, Victor García-Dueñas, Antonio Jabaloy, 2002. "Alpine tectonics II: Betic Cordillera and Balearic Islands", The Geology of Spain, W. Gibbons, Teresa Moreno
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The Betic and Rif cordilleras, lying to the north and south of the Alborán sea, form an arc-shaped mountain belt joining across the Straits of Gibraltar. The arc developed during, and partly in response to, late Mesozoic to Cenozoic convergence between Africa and Iberia. Three main pre-Miocene tectonic domains have been identified within the arc (Fig. 16.1a). The first of these represents the palaeomargins of the southern part of the Iberian plate and the northern (Maghrebian) part of the African plate. Both palaeomargins comprise autochthonous, parautochthonous, and/or allochthonous non-metamorphic Mesozoic and Tertiary cover overlying a Variscan basement. These palaeomargins were deformed in response to Alpine events and now form the External Zones of the two cordilleras. The second major tectonic domain comprises deformed Cretaceous to Miocene deep-water ‘flysch’ sediments located in the western Betics and along the northern part of Africa from the Gibraltar Strait to the Kabylies (Fig. 16.1; e.g. Durand-Delga 1980). These ‘flysch’ sediments are thought to have been deposited in a basin located between the palaeomargins of Iberia and Africa and the rocks that form the internal part of the mountain belt (Balanyá & García-Dueñas 1987). The third major tectonic unit is known as the Alborán domain or Internal Zones (Balanyá & García-Dueñas 1987), and mainly comprises three nappe complexes of variable metamorphic grade, which are, from bottom to top, the Nevado-Filábride, the Alpujárride and the low-grade Maláguide complexes (Fig. 16.1). In addition, sedimentary rocks
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This book provides the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary islands. It has been written by 159 research-active, mostly Spanish authors working together in teams from over 20 universities and other centres of research excellence. The 19 chapters begin with an overview of Spanish geology prepared by the editors, followed by a detailed examination of Iberian Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks in Spain, Variscan magmatism and tectonics, and the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary record and fossil record. Subsequent chapters deal with the Alpine orogeny in the Pyrenees, Betics and other mountain ranges of Spain and the Balearic Islands, and with Cenozoic magmatism, including the classic hot-spot-related volcanism of the Canary Islands. The final chapter focuses on economic and environmental geology, emphasizing metallic deposits and industrial minerals, hydrocarbon energy resources, water supply, and modern seismic hazard. Finally a bibliography of around 4000 references provides a uniquely valuable information source. Encompassing subjects as diverse as the origin of Spanish granites, the palaeogeographic and tectonometamorphic history of the Iberian plate, human evolution in the SW Mediterranean, and modern volcanism and earthquake activity, The Geology of Spain is a key reference work suitable not only for libraries across the world, but of interest to all researchers, teachers and students of SW European geology.