The lithospheric structure of the Gibraltar Arc System from Wide Angle Seismic data.

Gomez de la Pena, Laura , Grevemeyer, Ingo , Kopp, Heidrun , Díaz, Jordi, Gallart, Josep, Booth‐Rea, Guillermo, Gràcia, Eulàlia and Ranero, César R. (2020) The lithospheric structure of the Gibraltar Arc System from Wide Angle Seismic data. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125 (9). e2020JB019854. DOI 10.1029/2020JB019854.

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Supplementary data:


In continental settings, seismic failure is generally restricted to crustal depth. Crustal structure is therefore an important proxy to evaluate seismic hazard of continental fault systems. Here we present a seismic velocity model across the Gibraltar Arc System, from the Eurasian Betics Range (South Iberian margin), across offshore East Alboran and Pytheas (African margin) basins, and ending onshore in North Morocco. Our results reveal the nature and configuration of the crust supporting the coexistence of three different crustal domains: the continental crust of the Betics, the continental crust of the Pytheas Basin (south Alboran Basin) and onshore Morocco, and a distinct domain formed of magmatic arc crust under the East Alboran Basin. The magmatic arc under the East Alboran Basin is characterized by a velocity structure containing a relatively high‐velocity lower crust (~7 km/s) bounded at the top and base by reflections. The lateral extension of this crust is mapped integrating a second perpendicular wide‐angle seismic profile along the Eastern Alboran basin, together with basement samples, multibeam bathymetry, and a grid of deep‐penetrating multichannel seismic profiles. The transition between crustal domains is currently unrelated to extensional and magmatic processes that formed the basin. The abrupt transition zones between the different crustal domains support that they are bounded by crustal‐scale active fault systems that reactivate inherited structures. Seismicity in the area is constrained to upper‐middle crust depths, and most earthquakes nucleate outside of the magmatic arc domain.

Key Points

New velocity model reveals the lithospheric structure under the Betics (South Iberia), the Alboran Basin and the North African margin
The East Alboran Basin is floored by magmatic arc crust, while the southern area of the Alboran Basin is floored by continental crust
Seismic activity is constrained to the upper‐middle continental crust. Crustal domains are likely bounded by active faults

Document Type: Article
Keywords: crustal structure, Gibraltar Arc System, western Mediterranean, active seismic data, active tectonics
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 10:28
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 09:29

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