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The Central Iberian Mountain Range a Key Asset to the Deformation Mechanisms of Iberia

This project aims do an integrated multidisciplinary, lithsopheric model across the Central System of Iberia, from the Tajo Basin, across the mountain chain till the Duero Basin. One of the most relevant topographic features of the Iberian Peninsula is the relatively high elevation of its interior and, in particular of the Central System. The Central meseta (plateau) is characterized by an average altitude of 600-700 m and, is actively increasing its elevation, being one of the highest of all the European continent. By obtaining the proposed geologic and geophysical model we aim to provide unique new constraints and contribute to the understanding of the topography and the causes of its changes. Changes in topography reflect a combination of the deep and Surface processes and ints interaction with the crust. It is recognize that critical players in the resulting response are the crustal thickness, nature (lithologies) physical properties of the crust and upper mantle and its internal architecture. The proposal includes: a multidisciplinary study of the surface, including surface geology, geophysics (potential field and seismics).

A fundamental player is the acquisition of an approximately 300 km long wide-angle seismic reflection transect. This transect will be an extension of the previously acquired ALCUDIA and IBERSEIS transects. As a result if the proposal is successful an almost 900 km long ( from the Gulf of Cadiz to the Duero basin) highly resolved geophysical model across the Iberia peninsula will be obtained. The most significant targets of this proposal include: Geological strip map with balance cross-section, the crustal thickness and its lateral variations, P- and S-wave seismic velocity models for the central system, the distribution of Poisson's ratio and seismic anisotropy. One of the implications of these is that the proposal aims to place constraints on the deformation patterns of the crust that resulted in this relatively high intra-plate orogen.

New technological challenges are proposed within this project. These consist in the development of low cost seismic imaging techniques. Two aspect a proposed to be developed one is the use of ambient noise seismic recordings to retrieve crustal reflections. The second is the usage of the controlled wide-angle dataset for the generation of virtual-sources. The latter methodology has proven successful in VSP geometries and it will require to develop the basis for surface acquired data. .


  • Francisco González Lodeiro (UGR)
  • Fernando Alvarez Lobato (USAL)
  • Puy Ayarza Arribas (UPSA)
  • Luis Mansilla Plaza (UCLM)
  • Luis Miguel Martín Parra (IGME)
  • Luis Roberto Rodríguez Fernández (IGME)


  • Funding


    Project Financed by FEDER: CGL2014-56548-P