Why in the Pyrenees?

The Pyrenees are an Alpine fold-thrust belt extending east to west along the north of the Iberian Peninsula and southern France, formed by the collision of plates during the Late Cretaceous–early Miocene. Compression was preceded by an aborted rift that branched off the Atlantic and joined up with Tethys. Salt tectonics played a major role in shaping the present configuration of the mountain belt.

The southern Pyrenees have probably been the most visited school of geology by academia and industry since the 1960s. What makes them outstanding are:

  • Excellent rock exposures
  • Easy access to them
  • Variety of facies
  • Continent to basin transitions
  • The ability to study the effect of tectonics on sedimentation
  • Ideal reservoir analogues
  • Quantity and quality of published studies
  • The Geoplay team works there

Facies include:

  • Alluvial fans
  • Fluvial red beds
  • Tidal deposits
  • Delta and nearshore sandstones
  • Sandstone turbidites
  • Shelf-to-slope carbonates

Structures include:

  • Extensional and growth faults
  • Inversion structures (thrust anticlines and reverse faults)
  • Palaeokarst systems
  • Outer arc and crestal collapse structures
  • Fractures from micro-scale to macro-scale
  • Mechanical stratigraphy and fracture corridors
  • Fault damage zones