Abstract

The structural position of the Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous carbonates located in the central part of the Catalan Coastal Ranges corresponds to the southwestern end of the Vallès-Penedès Fault. This fault was reactivated at different times during successive extensional and compressional events and several generations of fractures and cementations were formed.

Based on petrological and geochemical analyses of this cementation an evolution of the fluids related to the different tectonic stages can be deduced. (1) During the Mesozoic extension, the parent fluids resulted either from a mixing of trapped Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous seawater and meteoric water, or from buffered meteoric waters. (2) Related to the Paleogene compression, the fluids came from the percolation of meteoric waters indicating shallow-depth deformation. (3) During the transitional phase between Paleogene compression and Neogene extension, a karstic dissolution took place and the porosities were infilled by different generations of sediments and cements deposited from meteoric fluids. (4) During the Neogene extension several episodes of meteoric percolations and fracturing processes occurred. The Neogene extensional faults used the earlier karstic system to develop and, later, during the late post-rift stage, a new karstic system occurred, covering the walls of open fractures with speleothems.

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