Abstract

Lherzolites outcrop throughout the North Pyrenean Zone of the Pyrenees and are everywhere associated with metamorphosed carbonates. It has been suggested that heat from the cooling of the lherzolites was responsible for the high temperature metamorphism of the carbonates. A gravity survey reported here shows that the volume of the lherzolite body at Lers is approximately 0.8 cubic km. The maximum volume of carbonates that such a body could metamorphose is 3.2 cubic km. This latter value is so much less than the volume of carbonates inferred from field mapping that the lherzolite body cannot have been the sole source of heat for metamorphism of the carbonates. It has been suggested from seismic data that there is a step in the Moho beneath the North Pyrenean Fault in the central Pyrenees. Gravity anomalies reported here show that either the step is less than 10 km high or that the density contrast is very low at the base of the crust in the Pyrenees.

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