Larrasoana, J.C., Pares, J.M., Del Valle, J. and Millan, H.
Triassic paleomagnetism from the Western Pyrenees revisited: implications for the Iberian-Eurasion Mesozoic plate boundary
Tectonophysics, 362, (1-4), . (doi:10.1016/S0040-1951(02)00636-4).
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Since the pioneering studies of Van der Voo [Tectonophysics 7 (1969) 5] and Van der Voo and Boessenkool [J. Geophys. Res. 78 (1973) 5118], paleomagnetism of Permo-Triassic redbeds and volcanics from the Western Pyrenees has furnished important contributions for delineating the Mesozoic boundary between the Iberian and Eurasian plates. In this paper, we present a new paleomagnetic study focussed on Triassic red beds (23 sites) of the Paleozoic Basque Massifs (PBM). The aim of this study is to complement previous studies done in those massifs to better constrain the complex kinematics of the Western Pyrenees. Two stable magnetic components have been isolated: (1) a dual polarity, pre-folding magnetisation carried by specular hematite; and (2) a secondary, normal polarity component also carried by hematite. Our data confirm both the origin and the rotation pattern of the primary remanence described in previous works. Nevertheless, field tests performed on the secondary component do not confirm the earlier interpretations by Schott and Peres [Tectonophysics 156 (1988) 75] as they indicate a synfolding nature of the remagnetisation instead of a post-folding origin. We consider that the secondary component is better explained if a Cretaceous age is considered. The presence of such remagnetisation in the western Pyrenees strengthens the widespread occurrence of similar remagnetisation events reported in northern Iberia in connection with the extensional tectonic events that occurred during Cretaceous times. A comparison of the rotations recorded by the Triassic component and by the remagnetisation indicate that the Paleozoic units underwent variable tectonic rotations before the remagnetisation was acquired, most likely in connection with the counterclockwise rotation of Iberia with respect to Eurasia. These results favour that the Mesozoic plate boundary between the Iberian and Eurasian plates was a wide domain of distributed deformation and therefore contradict previous interpretations claiming for a discrete plate boundary.
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