Abstract

The Armorican Basin is a deep sedimentary basin lying at the footside of the North Bay of Biscay. From previous scattered inadequate data, the age and nature of this basin, oceanic domain or deep part of the Armorican margin itself were largely speculated. From this new seismo-stratigraphic study based on a dense seismic cover, the sedimentation within the Armorican Basin is beginning in the Aptian times, during the last tectonic rifting episode of the margin. The first sediments formation identified as the « 3B layer » is characterised on the profiles by a chaotic and transparent seismic facies and was emplaced by slumping process when the margin collapsed, at the final rifting phase, just before the oceanic accretion.

The new seismic reflection data give also some informations on the polyphased evolution of the North Biscay Margin during the rifting period. Two main events occurred during the Lower Cretaceous times (the first one is pre-Berriasian, the second is Aptian), separated by a quiet tectonic period including the Upper Berriasian and Lower Aptian times. The first event is responsible of the margin tectonic structuration in some blocks, the second of collapsing and the emplacement of the allochthonous sediments (3B layer) in the Armorican Basin.

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