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Geodynamic evolution of the SW Europe Variscides

Author(s): Ribeiro, António ; Munhá, José ; Dias, Rui ; Mateus, António ; Pereira, Eurico ; Ribeiro, Luísa ; Fonseca, Paulo ; Araújo, António Alexandre ; Oliveira, Tomás ; Romão, José ; Chaminé, Helder ; Coke, Carlos ; Pedro, Jorge

Date: 2007

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório Científico da Universidade de Évora

Subject(s): Rheic; Suture; Iberia; Obduction; Subduction; Collision; Variscan; Finisterra


Abstract The early evolution of SW Europe Variscides started by opening of the Rheic ocean at 500 Ma, splitting Avalonia from Armorica/Iberia. Subduction on the SE side of Rheic generated the Paleotethys back-arc basin (430–390 Ma, splitting Armorica from Iberia), with development of Porto-Tomar-Ferreira do Alentejo (PTFA) dextral transform defining the boundary between continental Armorica and Finisterra microplate to the W. Obduction of Paleotethys was followed by Armorica/Iberia collision and emplacement of NW Iberian Allochthonous Units at 390–370 Ma, whereas toward the west of PTFA, there was antithetic ophiolite obduction (Beja-Acebuches and Rheic ophiolites plus Finisterra continental slices) on top of Ossa-Morena Zone, with simultaneous development of eclogites and orogenic magmatism under a flake–double wedge tectonic regime. Continued convergence (<370 Ma) proceeded by intracontinental deformation, with progressive tightening of the Ibero-Armorican Arc through dextral transpression on the Cantabrian Indentor, from Iberia to Armorica. The proposed model is discussed at the light of the driving mechanism of ‘‘soft plate tectonics.’’

Document Type Journal article
Language English
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