Polyphase tectonic evolution of fore‐arc basin related to STEP fault as revealed by seismic reflection data from the Alboran Sea (W‐Mediterranean)

Type Article
Date 2020-03
Language English
Author(s) D'Acremont E.1, Lafosse M.1, Rabaute A.1, Teurquety G.1, 2, Do Couto D.1, Ercilla G.3, Juan C.3, Mercier De Lépinay B.4, Lafuerza Sara1, Galindo‐zaldivar J.5, 6, Estrada F.3, Vazquez J.T.7, Leroy S.1, Poort J.1, Ammar A.8, Gorini C.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Sorbonne Université CNRS‐INSU, Institut des Sciences de la Terre Paris, ISTeP Paris ,France
2 : Paris 1 Pantheon‐Sorbonne Université, CNRS‐Ministère de la Culture, Archéologies et Sciences de l'Antiquité, ArScAn UMR 7041, F‐92023 Nanterre ,France
3 : Instituto de Ciencias del Mar, CSIC, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
4 : GéoazurUniversité de Nice‐ Sophia Antipolis CNRS‐OCA, France
5 : Dpto. de Geodinamica, Universidad de Granada Granada ,Spain
6 : Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC‐UGR), Granada ,Spain
7 : Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), C.O. Málaga, 29640 Fuengirola Málaga, Spain
8 : Université Mohammed V‐Agdal Rabat, Morocco
Source Tectonics (0278-7407) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2020-03 , Vol. 39 , N. 3 , P. e2019TC005885 (25p.)
DOI 10.1029/2019TC005885
WOS© Times Cited 13

Since the Miocene, the thinned continental crust below the Alboran Sea as well as its overlying sedimentary cover have been undergoing deformation caused by both convergence of Eurasia and Africa and by deep processes related to the Tethyan slab retreat. Part of this deformation is recorded at the Xauen and Tofiño banks in the southern Alboran Sea. Using swath bathymetry and multichannel seismic reflection data, we identified different stages and styles of deformation. The South Alboran Basin is made up of Early Miocene to Pliocene sedimentary layers that correlate with the West Alboran Basin depocenter and are dominated by E‐W trending folds and thrusts. The Xauen and Tofiño Banks first recorded the phase of extension and strike‐slip movement during the slab retreat, followed by the phase of compressional inversion since the Tortonian and are now structured by tight folds, thrusts and mud bodies. This study proposes that the Banks were located on the southern inherited Subduction Tear Edge Propagator (STEP) fault related to the westward migration of the Alboran domain during the Miocene. The STEP fault zone, acting as a boundary between the African block and the Alboran block, was located along the onshore Jebha‐Nekor fault and the offshore Alboran Ridge and the Yusuf fault zone. Thick‐skinned and thin‐skinned shortening occurred when slab retreat stopped, and inversion began. The present‐day style of the deformation seems to be linked to a decollement level made of undercompacted shale on top of the Ghomaride complex.

Key Points

The reactivation of the Subduction Tear Edge Propagator fault zone on the southern edge of the Alboran Domain, forms the South Alboran Ridge

The style of the present‐day structure of the South Alboran region implies an interaction between thick‐skinned and thin‐skinned tectonics

Undercompacted shales and inherited crustal structures are involved in the structural evolution of the South Alboran Basin

Accepted Articles

Accepted, unedited articles published online and citable. The final edited and typeset version of record will appear in the future.






This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publication History

Accepted manuscript online: 06 March 2020

Manuscript accepted: 25 February 2020

Manuscript revised: 24 February 2020

Manuscript received: 15 September 2019

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Publisher's official version 43 3 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

D'Acremont E., Lafosse M., Rabaute A., Teurquety G., Do Couto D., Ercilla G., Juan C., Mercier De Lépinay B., Lafuerza Sara, Galindo‐zaldivar J., Estrada F., Vazquez J.T., Leroy S., Poort J., Ammar A., Gorini C. (2020). Polyphase tectonic evolution of fore‐arc basin related to STEP fault as revealed by seismic reflection data from the Alboran Sea (W‐Mediterranean). Tectonics, 39(3), e2019TC005885 (25p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1029/2019TC005885 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00612/72436/