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Early Miocene continental subduction and rapid exhumation in the western Mediterranean

John P. Platt, Robert Anczkiewicz, Juan-Ignacio Soto, Simon P. Kelley and Matthew Thirlwall
Early Miocene continental subduction and rapid exhumation in the western Mediterranean
Geology (Boulder) (November 2006) 34 (11): 981-984


New Lu-Hf garnet growth ages from high-pressure rocks from the structurally lowest terrane (Nevado-Filabride Complex) in the Betic Cordillera of southern Spain indicate early Miocene subduction of continental crust, requiring significant revision of the timing and processes of orogeny in the western part of the Alpine orogenic system. Mafic eclogite and pelitic schist give Lu-Hf ages in the range 18-14 Ma, and fission-track data show that the terrane was exhumed by 12-8 Ma. The overlying terrane (Alpujarride Complex) shows early Tertiary high pressure-temperature metamorphism; this was followed by a thermal event that accompanied rapid crustal extension at 22-18 Ma, leading to the formation of the Alboran Sea backarc basin. The evidence therefore suggests two phases of continental subduction separated by a phase of large-scale intraorogenic extension. The two terranes are now separated by a mid-late Miocene low-angle extensional fault. The timing and paleogeographic setting suggest that the Nevado-Filabride terrane originally was close to the rifted South Iberian margin, and was subducted during westward motion of the extending upper terrane between the converging African and Iberian plates.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 11
Title: Early Miocene continental subduction and rapid exhumation in the western Mediterranean
Affiliation: University of Southern California, Department of Earth Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Pages: 981-984
Published: 200611
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 27
Accession Number: 2006-091347
Categories: Solid-earth geophysicsGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2006213
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., geol. sketch map
N36°30'00" - N37°30'00", W03°30'00" - W01°49'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-002 Krakow, POL, PolandUniversidad de Granada, 18071-Granada, ESP, SpainOpen University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, GBR, United KingdomRoyal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200651
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