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Rift-margin extensional forced folds and salt tectonics in the eastern Basque-Cantabrian rift basin (western Pyrenees)
Marine and Petroleum Geology. 2018, V. 91, p. 667-682
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In this paper we present and discuss Cretaceous extensional folds of the eastern Basque-Cantabrian Basin (Northern Spain). Geometry and kinematics of folds is constrained by means of structural and sedimentological fieldwork integrated with geological mapping, revealing an intimate link between coeval folding, extensional faulting, and salt mobilization. In detail, the Mesozoic succession of the northwestern and southern borders of the Palaeozoic Bortziriak-Cinco Villas massif (eastern margin of the BCB) host late Albian–early Cenomanian syn-rift forced folds. The studied forced fold axes trend parallel and are located above main and inferred Cretaceous syn-sedimentary basement faults. Structural data indicate that these folds formed during the late Albian − early Cenomanian interval. The presence of Upper Triassic clay and evaporite outcrops along and/or close to the axes of folds and their stratigraphic relationship with Upper Cretaceous strata indicate their halokinetic origin and extrusion during folding. The trigger of salt tectonics is attributed to a basement extensional pulse during the Bay of Biscay – Pyrenean rifting. Related high subsidence-rates allowed salt to flow towards faults, forming salt walls and causing the inflation and folding of the overburden.
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