Abstract

This paper documents the control exerted by normal fault growth on the sedimentary architecture of a small sector of the Granada Basin, Spain. Since Middle Miocene, the spatio-temporal evolution of the depositional environments can be associated with multiple stages of normal fault growth.

Starting from Serravallian, the progressive development of two orthogonal sets of normal faults, respectively ∼E-W and ∼N-S striking, drove the basin development from patchy distributed, small continental to lagoonal depressions to open marine conditions. The latter conditions took place during Late Tortonian. Since Late Turolian (late Miocene), as a consequence of a regional uplift well documented in literature, accumulation of continental deposits on top of the aforementioned marine sediments occurred throughout the Quaternary. These continental deposits sealed most of the ∼E-W and ∼N-S striking normal faults, which activity therefore predated their deposition.

Documentation of both vertical and lateral distributions of the various Miocene sedimentary units allowed us to assess the main fault parameters, length and displacement, for Serravallian and Tortonian times. Lengths up to 1 km and throws up to 30 m characterised the normal faults active during the Serravallian, whereas lengths up to 4 km and throws up to 130 m the more mature normal faults active during the Tortonian. The results of this integrated stratigraphic and structural study are summarised in a 4D conceptual model of extensional basin evolution.

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