Abstract

Stratigraphic, structural, palaeocurrent and palaeomagnetic analyses of Upper Albian deep-water deposits in and around the Deba block (Northern Iberia) are presented. Results indicate an anticlockwise vertical-axis rotation of this block by 35° during a maximum time span of c. 1 Ma (Late Albian intra-C. auritus ammonite Subzone). This Albian syndepositional block rotation is interpreted to be the consequence of the coeval activity of conjugate major sinistral strike-slip faults and minor (antithetic) dextral strike-slip faults, which border the Deba block. On the base of conservative estimations, a minimum block-rotation rate of 35° Ma−1 and a sinistral strike-slip rate of 1.2 km Ma−1 are calculated. As a consequence of the interaction of the rotated Deba block with adjacent non-rotated blocks, its corners experienced coeval transpressive (NW and SE corners) and transtensional deformations (SW and, possibly, NE corners). At the transtensional SW corner, two domal high-reflective seismic structures have been recorded and interpreted as high-level magmatic laccoliths. These magmatic intrusions triggered the development of a mineralizing hydrothermal system, which vented to the Late Albian seafloor warm to hot hydrocarbon-rich fluids. Vented hydrocarbon was generated from Albian organic-rich sediments by contact alteration with hydrothermal fluids.

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