Abstract

Southern Pyrenean frontal thrusts are usually blind or partially covered by syn- and post-tectonic sediments of the Ebro Foreland hampering their interpretation. We have investigated the geometry and evolution of the Súria Anticline, a frontal structure of the Southern Pyrenees, which is characterized by the presence of multiple buried and blind thrusts displaying a complex triangle zone and several fishtail structures at depth. To characterize the geometry and structural evolution, a combination of surface geology, subsurface data interpretation, and analog modeling have been integrated into a unique 3D geologic model. The surface geology of this area depicts a rather simple structure, characterized by a north-directed backthrust and a gentle anticline, both striking west–southwest/east–northeast. In contrast, geophysical data indicate that the subsurface structure is more complex, exhibiting several northward- and southward-directed thrusts and folds detaching on the Pyrenean foreland Eocene evaporites. Integration of surface (geologic maps and dip measurements) and subsurface data (seismic and wells) allowed us to reconstruct the 3D structure of this area. To produce a more robust kinematic model, we used an experimental approach to investigate the evolution of frontal structures in folds and thrust belts on evaporitic detachments. Different viscous layer configurations were tested in a series of sandbox models comparing them with the evolution of the Súria Anticline. Taking into account the deformation and that seismic quality is in general poor, the experimental results allow us to better characterize the structures developed in this area. Our structural evolution is characterized by an early stage of salt inflation and fold nucleation. With increasing shortening, the structure evolved to a detachment anticline eventually developing a northward-directed thrust that broke through the northern anticline limb. The present-day geometry developed in a later stage of fold reactivation, when a new regional fold formed, and tightened the preexisting structure.

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