We investigate the lithospheric structure beneath the Gibraltar arc (western Mediterranean) using S-wave receiver functions (SRFs). From a dense network deployed in the Ibero-Maghrebian region during different seismic surveys, we calculated ~11,000 SRFs that sample the upper mantle detecting the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The observed seismic LAB belongs to different lithospheric domains: Iberian and African forelands, Alboran domain, and Atlantic Ocean. Common conversion point (CCP) migrated profiles show the geometrical relation among them. Under the Strait of Gibraltar, we observe a deep LAB (~150 km). It can be associated with Jurassic-age lithosphere of ~120 km thickness, one of the thickest ever reported in oceanic environments. There is an abrupt offset between the oceanic LAB and the shallow (80-km-deep) continental LAB of the Iberian foreland, suggesting displacement along a former transform fault. The northwestern African continental LAB is 90–100 km deep. The oceanic LAB under the Gibraltar arc continues to ~180 km depth beneath the Alboran Sea, showing the connection between the Alboran slab and the oceanic lithosphere in the central Gulf of Cádiz. This geometry agrees with an ~200-km-wide corridor of oceanic lithosphere between the central Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys, developed during the Middle–Late Jurassic. Our results support the proposed westward rollback of an oceanic east-dipping slab, which has continuity at least to the central Gulf of Cádiz.
Connection between the Jurassic oceanic lithosphere of the Gulf of Cádiz and the Alboran slab imaged by Sp receiver functions
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
Antonio Molina-Aguilera, Flor de Lis Mancilla, Jose Morales, Daniel Stich, Xiaohui Yuan, Benjamin Heit; Connection between the Jurassic oceanic lithosphere of the Gulf of Cádiz and the Alboran slab imaged by Sp receiver functions. Geology doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G45654.1
Download citation file:
- Share Icon Share