The Making of a Fold-Thrust Belt 

The Pyrenees: from salt tectonics and hyperextension to compression

June 10-14, 2024

by Jaume Vergés and Lluís Ardèvol

  • The Variscan basement
  • Carboniferous-Permian pre-salt extensional framework
  • Extensive Early Triassic red bed sedimentation
  • Late Triassic salt
  • Jurassic-Cretaceous salt tectonics regime and hyperextension
  • Late Cretaceous reefal carbonate platforms
  • Latest Cretaceous-Eocene structural inversion: thrust development
  • Basin-fill mechanisms in compressional settings: continental to slope depositional systems
  • Syn- and post-tectonic alluvial fan deposition

The Pyrenees are an Alpine fold-thrust belt formed during the Late Cretaceous–early Miocene as the result of south-to-north continental collision of the Iberian and European plates. The Pyrenean orogeny inverted a precursor rift, that was an east-west-trending aborted branch of the Mid Atlantic spreading ridge that opened from the Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, connecting the Atlantic and the Tethys oceans. A cross section through the central Pyrenees has a fan like geometry with an axial antiformal stack of Variscan basement rocks flanked by both northward- and southward-directed cover thrust sheets detached above Triassic salt, expression of precursor salt-related minibasins.