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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Jul 2020

06 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

What can seismic noise tell us about the Alpine reactivation of the Iberian Massif? An example in the Iberian Central System

Juvenal Andrés1,2, Puy Ayarza2, Martin Schimmel1, Imma Palomeras2, Mario Ruiz1, and Ramon Carbonell1 Juvenal Andrés et al.
  • 1Institute of Earth Science Jaume Almera (ICTJA), 08028, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Department of Geology, University of Salamanca, 37008, Salamanca, Spain

Abstract. The Iberian Central System, formed after the Alpine reactivation of the Variscan Iberian Massif, features maximum altitudes of 2500 m. It is surrounded by two foreland basins with contrasting elevation: The Duero Basin to the N, located at 750–800 m and the Tajo Basin to the S, lying at 450–500 m. The deep crustal structure of this mountain range seems to be characterized by the existence of a moderate crustal root that provides isostatic support for its topography. New seismic data is able to constrain the geometry of this crustal root, which appears to be defined by a northward lower crustal imbrication of the southern Central Iberian crust underneath this range. Contrarily to what was expected, this imbrication also affects the upper crust, as the existing orogen-scale mid-crustal Variscan detachment was probably assimilated during the Carboniferous crustal melting that gave rise to the Central System batholith. This implies that the reactivated upper crustal fractures can reach lower crustal depths, thus allowing the entire crust to sink. This new model can explain the differences in topography between the Central System foreland basins. Also, it provides further constrains on the crustal geometry of this mountain range, as it seems to be that of an asymmetric Alpine-type orogen, thus hindering the existence of buckling processes as the sole origin of the deformation. Results presented here have been achieved after autocorrelation of seismic noise along the CIMDEF profile. Although the resolution of the dataset features limited resolution (0.5–4 Hz, stations placed at ~ 5 km), this methodology has allowed us to pinpoint some key structures that helped to constraint the deformation mechanisms that affected Central Iberia during the Alpine orogeny.

Juvenal Andrés et al.

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Juvenal Andrés et al.

Juvenal Andrés et al.


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