Investigating gravitational grabens related to lateral spreading and evaporite dissolution subsidence by means of detailed mapping, trenching, and electrical resistivity tomography (Spanish Pyrenees)

F. Gutírrez, R. Linares, C. Roqú, M. Zarroca, J. Rosell, J. P. Galve, D. Carbonel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The active lateral spread of the Peracalç Range (Spanish Pyrenees) has developed on a Cretaceous limestone sequence around 250 m thick, underlain by tectonically thickened (~2.5 km) Triassic halite-bearing evaporites and clays. Outward expansion of the Triassic sequence by ductile deformation and probably halokinesis toward the debuttressed and unloaded front of the range has been accommodated in the overlying cap rock through the development of a striking horst and graben morphostructure. Fault scarps show anomalously high height to length ratios (aspect ratio; H max /L) compared to the values reported for tectonic faults. This retrogressive gravitational deformation has aborted a paleodrainage, expressed as wind gaps, hanging valleys, and defeated streams. The significant vertical displacement component in this rock spread is attributed to subsidence caused by interstratal evaporite dissolution, as supported by the dissolution-induced collapse and graben structures mapped at the foot of the range. To our knowledge, the rock spread of Peracalç, covering around 4.5 km 2 and with a minimum volume of 0.9 km 3 , is the largest documented landslide of the Pyrenees. The excavation of trenches and the acquisition of electrical resistivity tomography profiles provided information on the thickness and subsurface structure of the graben fills, the age of the lateral spread (older than 45 ka), an unexpected episodic kinematic behavior of the gravitational faults, and the timing of deformation events, including slumping of lake deposits. © 2012 Geological Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-353
JournalLithosphere
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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