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Ruiz, M., J. Díaz, D. Pedreira, J. Gallart, and J. A. Pulgar Crustal structure of the North Iberian continental margin from seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles, Tectonophysics, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2017.07.008.

Abstract

The structure and geodynamics of the southern margin of the Bay of Biscay have been investigated from a set of 11 multichannel seismic reflection profiles, recorded also at wide angle offsets in an onshore-offshore network of 24 OBS/OBH and 46 land sites. This contribution focuses on the analysis of the wide-angle reflection-refraction data along representative profiles. The results document strong lateral variations of the crustal structure along the margin and provide an extensive test of the crustal models previously proposed for the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Offshore, the crust has a typical continental structure in the eastern tip of the bay, which disappears smoothly towards the NW to reach crustal thickness close to 10 km at the edge of the studied area (~ 45°N, 6°W). The analysis of the velocity-depth profiles, altogether with additional information provided by the multichannel seismic data and magnetic surveys led to the conclusion that the crust in this part of the bay should be interpreted as transitional from continental to oceanic. Typical oceanic crust has not been imaged in the investigated area. Onshore, the new results are in good agreement with previous results and document the indentation of the Bay of Biscay crust into the Iberian crust, forcing its subduction to the North. The interpreted profiles show that the extent of the southward indentation is not uniform, with an Alpine root less developed in the central and western sector of the Basque-Cantabrian Basin. N-S to NE-SW transfer structures seem to control those variations in the indentation degree.

Reference article