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Andrés, J., I. Marzán, P. Ayarza, D. Martí, I. Palomeras, M. Torné, S. Campbell, and R. Carbonell Curie Point Depth of the Iberian Peninsula and surrounding margins. A thermal and tectonic perspective of its evolution, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, n/a-n/a, doi: 10.1002/2017JB014994.


In this work the thermal structure of the Iberian Peninsula is derived from magnetic data by calculating the bottom of the magnetization, assumed to be the Curie-point depth (CPD) isotherm, which accounts for the depth at which magnetite becomes paramagnetic (580 °C). Comparison of the CPD with crustal thickness maps along with a heat flow map derived from the CPD provides new insights on the lithospheric thermal regime. Within Iberia, the CPD isotherm has thickness in the range of 17 km to 29 km. This isotherm is shallow (< 18 km) offshore, where the lithosphere is thinner. In continental Iberia, the NW Variscan domain presents a magnetic response that is most probably linked to thickening and later extension processes during the late Variscan Orogeny, which resulted in widespread crustal melting and emplacement of granites (in the Central Iberian Arc). The signature of the CPD at the Gibraltar Arc reveals a geometry consistent with the slab roll-back geodynamic model that shaped the Western Mediterranean. In offshore areas, a broad extension of magnetized upper mantle is found. Serpentinization of the upper mantle, probably triggered in an extensional context, is proposed to account for the magnetic signal. The Atlantic margin presents up to 8 km of serpentinites, which, according to the identification of exhumed mantle, correlates with a hyperextended margin. The Mediterranean also presents generalized serpentinization up to 6 km in the Algerian Basin. Furthermore, a heat flow map and a Moho temperature map derived from the CPD are presented.

Reference article