The crustal evolution of the west-central Pyrenees revisited: Inferences from a new kinematic scenario

Antonio Teixell, Pierre Labaume, Yves Lagabrielle

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111 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Académie des sciences. New evolutionary models for the Pyrenean orogeny must consider feedbacks between the Mid-Cretaceous hyperextension postulated recently and the Pyrenean inversion. We present a new crustal section of the Pyrenees through the Jaca Basin, the western Axial Zone and the Chaînons Béarnais, which allows identifying the ancient continental margins of the Iberian and European plates and a suture. A sequential restoration allows a reassessment of the style of convergence through time. Restoration leads to a progressively thinned crust in narrow continental margins separated by a domain of exhumed mantle peridotite and overlain by a detached sedimentary lid. Early convergence during the Late Cretaceous and the Earliest Paleogene was accommodated by subduction of the peridotite domain. This was followed in the Eocene by initial collision involving overriding of the Iberian margin onto the European margin along the deep ramp of the North-Pyrenean Frontal thrust, which defines the suture. Subsequent full collision and strong relief generation from the late-Mid or Late Eocene to the Early Miocene were associated with thrust accretion of the Iberian plate, underlain by wedging and northward subduction of the decoupled Iberian lower crust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
JournalComptes Rendus - Geoscience
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Continental margins
  • Crustal structure
  • Hyperextension
  • Pyrenees
  • Tectonic inversion


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