The Pyrenean Basement: Hercynian Structure and Effects of Alpine Reworking

J. Carreras, M. Julivert, P. Santanach

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The Pyrenees are a chain of Cenozoic age with a Hercynian basement. Structurally the Pyrenees are characterized by a fan-like disposition with E-W trending thrusts and folds facing in opposite directions from the fan axis. The fan is asymmetric, with the south-facing structures forming a wider belt than the north-facing ones. The fan axis coincides with the North Pyrenean Fault, a major fault traceable along the length of the chain. Pyrenean deformations in the Hercynian basement are restricted to fault and thrust zones and their effects are basically bounded to translations, rotations and tiltings. Hercynian features are preserved over large areas, and the Hercynian structure can be reconstructed, providing that the above- mentioned effects of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic overprinting are taken into account. Tectonic regimes involving crustal shortening are claimed as responsible for the generation of the Hercynian structures of the Palaeozoic basement in the Pyrenees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-293
JournalGeodynamic domains in the Alpine-Himalayan Tethys
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997


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