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Space and time in the tectonic evolution of the northwestern Iberian Massif: Implications for the Variscan belt

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José R. Martínez Catalán
José R. Martínez Catalán
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
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Ricardo Arenas
Ricardo Arenas
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Florentino Díaz García
Florentino Díaz García
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo, 33005 Oviedo, Spain
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Pablo González Cuadra
Pablo González Cuadra
Área de Geodinámica Externa, Universidad de León, 24007 León, Spain
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Juan Gómez-Barreiro
Juan Gómez-Barreiro
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Jacobo Abati
Jacobo Abati
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Pedro Castiñeiras
Pedro Castiñeiras
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Javier Fernández-Suárez
Javier Fernández-Suárez
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Sonia Sánchez Martínez
Sonia Sánchez Martínez
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Pilar Andonaegui
Pilar Andonaegui
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Emilio González Clavijo
Emilio González Clavijo
Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, Azafranal 48, 37001 Salamanca, Spain
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Alejandro Díez Montes
Alejandro Díez Montes
Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, Azafranal 48, 37001 Salamanca, Spain
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Francisco J. Rubio Pascual
Francisco J. Rubio Pascual
Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, Ríos Rosas 23, 28003 Madrid, Spain
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Beatriz Valle Aguado
Beatriz Valle Aguado
Departamento de Geociências, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Recent advances in geochemical studies of igneous rocks, isotopic age data for magmatism and metamorphism, quantitative pressure-temperature (P-T) estimates of metamorphic evolution, and structural geology in the northwestern Iberian Massif are integrated into a synthesis of the tectonic evolution that places the autochthonous and allochthonous terranes in the framework of Paleozoic plate tectonics. Because northwestern Iberia is free from strike-slip faults of continental scale, it is retrodeformable and preserves valuable information about the orthogonal component of convergence of Gondwana with Laurentia and/or Baltica, and the opening and closure of the Rheic Ocean.

The evolution deduced for northwest Iberia is extended to the rest of the Variscan belt in an attempt to develop a three-dimensional interpretation that assigns great importance to the transcurrent components of convergence. Dominant Carboniferous dextral transpression following large Devonian and Early Carboniferous thrusting and recumbent folding is invoked to explain the complexity of the belt without requiring a large number of peri-Gondwanan terranes, and its ophiolites and high-pressure allochthonous units are related to a single oceanic closure.

Palinspastic reconstruction of the Variscan massifs and zones cannot be achieved without restoration of terrane transport along the colliding plate margins. A schematic reconstruction is proposed that involves postcollisional strike-slip displacement of ∼3000 km between Laurussia and Gondwana during the Carboniferous.

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Contents

GSA Memoirs

4-D Framework of Continental Crust

Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
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Marvin P. Carlson
Marvin P. Carlson
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John H. McBride
John H. McBride
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José R. Martínez Catalán
José R. Martínez Catalán
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Geological Society of America
Volume
200
ISBN print:
9780813712000
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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