Fernàndez, M.; Torne, M.; Vergés, J.; Casciello, E.; Macchiavelli, C. Evidence of Segmentation in the Iberia–Africa Plate Boundary: A Jurassic Heritage? Geosciences 2019, 9, 343.


The present structure of the Iberia–Africa plate boundary between the Gorringe Bank and the Algerian Basin is characterized by a highly segmented geometry and diffused seismicity. Filtered Bouguer gravity data show conspicuous highs coinciding with the Gorringe Bank, the Guadalquivir–Portimao Bank, and the Ronda/Beni–Bousera massifs, reflecting the current geometry of the plate boundary segments. The Africa–Eurasia Alpine convergence produced crustal-scale thrusting in the Atlantic segments and roll-back subduction in the Ligurian–Tethys segments. Despite the growing consensus that the Gorringe and the Guadalquivir–Portimao Banks resulted from tectonic inversion of hyperextended margin structures inherited from the Early Jurassic, this heritage is more debatable for the Ronda/Beni–Bousera massifs lacking models linking the Atlantic and Mediterranean realms. On the basis of gravity analysis combined with plate reconstruction models, geological cross-sections, and recent local tomography, we infer a strong Jurassic heritage of the present-day segmentation and substantiate a comprehensive tectonic evolution model of the Iberia–Africa plate boundary since the Early Jurassic to Recent that includes the Atlantic and the Mediterranean domains.

Reference article

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