Tectonothermal history of an exhumed thrust-sheet-top basin: An example from the south Pyrenean thrust belt

Pierre Labaume, Florian Meresse, Marc Jolivet, Antonio Teixell, Abdeltif Lahfid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. This paper presents a new balanced structural cross section of the Jaca thrust-sheet-top basin of the southern Pyrenees combined with paleothermometry and apatite fission track (AFT) thermochronology data. The cross section, based on field data and interpretation of industrial seismic reflection profiles, allows refinement of previous interpretations of the south directed thrust system, involving the identification of new thrust faults, and of the kinematic relationships between basement and cover thrusts from the middle Eocene to the early Miocene. AFT analysis shows a southward decrease in the level of fission track resetting, from totally reset Paleozoic rocks and lower Eocene turbidites (indicative of heating to Tmax > ~120°C), to partially reset middle Eocene turbidites and no/very weak resetting in the upper Eocene-lower Oligocene molasse (Tmax < ~60°C). AFT results indicate a late Oligocene-early Miocene cooling event throughout the Axial Zone and Jaca Basin. Paleomaximum temperatures determined by vitrinite reflectance measurements and Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material reach up to ~240°C at the base of the turbidite succession. Inverse modeling of AFT and vitrinite reflectance data with the QTQt software for key samples show compatibility between vitrinite-derived Tmax and the AFT reset level for most of the samples. However, they also suggest that the highest temperatures determined in the lowermost turbidites correspond to a thermal anomaly rather than burial heating, possibly due to fluid circulation during thrust activity. From these results, we propose a new sequential restoration of the south Pyrenean thrust system propagation and related basin evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1280-1313
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Pyrenees
  • Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material
  • apatite fission track thermochronology
  • fold and thrust belt
  • foreland basin
  • vitrinite reflectance


Dive into the research topics of 'Tectonothermal history of an exhumed thrust-sheet-top basin: An example from the south Pyrenean thrust belt'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this