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The Africa call…
Well the third field work campaign the project. This time in the Middle Atlas of Morocco. The objetive was to find Nummulites as the ones in the Betic or in the Rif.
The picture shows the members of the team. Picture taken by Soufian Maaté.
Manuel Bullejos Lorenzo (Granada University)
Rachid Hlila (Abdelmalek Essaádi University)
Ali Maaté (Abdelmalek Essaádi University)
Manuel Martín-Martín (Alicante University)
Soufian Maaté (Moulay Ismail Errachidia University)
Crina Miclăuș (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University)
José Enrique Tent-Manclús (Alicante University)
And the collaborators:
Pedro Robles (Alicante University)
Santiago Moliner (Alicante University).
After a week (from April 23rd until April 30 2023). Many rock samples were taken and we did not find them but our hope is to look carefully the thin sections for tiny Nummulites.
This is the third major field trip of the project of the Spanish research agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigación) of the Spanish Science and innovation minister (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) entitle as “EVOLUCION TECTONO-DEPOSICIONAL DE CUENCAS SEDIMENTARIAS CENOZOICAS: CARACTERIZACION 2D-3D Y MEJORA DE PATRONES ESTANDAR” (PID2020-114381GB-I00). See previous post.
In the study of the Alicante External Prebetic Eocene platforms, ten sedimentary facies were defined in field based on lithology and fossil content observed, as follows: L1 – limestone (lmst.) with Alveolina; L2 – lmst. with small Nummulites (< 3 cm diameter); L3 – lmst. with big Nummulites (>3 cm diameter); L4 – algal lmst.; L5 – lmst. with miliolids; L6 – micritic lmst. with gastropods and bivalves; L7 – marls; L8 – greenish siltstones; L9 – dolomitized lmst. and/or dolostone; L10 – sandy lmst.
The lower interval of the Ibi section twelve L2-L1 units were defined, after which the first dolomitized limestone (L9) occurs, changing the motif to L2-L1-L9 or L1-L9. The middle part of the succession is marked by the occurrence of facies L10, while the upper part by five units with L5-L7.
The lower interval of the Ibi section, consists of thinning-upward units, each one showing a shallowing-upward trend, indicating a decrease of accommodation in middle ramp area, ended with the basinward shift of the proximal open inner ramp. The upper interval, consisting in thickening-upward units, sedimented in lagoon-shoals of inner ramp, indicates increasing of accommodation. This interval is preceded by a period of siliciclastic supply (L10). Consequently, at the scale of the entire outcrop a regressive sequence can be defined with at least 12 smaller RT (Regressive-transgressive) cycles, the lower 6 developed in middle ramp environments, while the upper 6 in inner ramp.
The Prebetic Paleocene-Eocene stratigraphic succession shows a general regressive-transgressive trend. The above-presented results indicate that on the regressive interval of this trend smaller scale RT cycles are superposed.
Cite as: Miclăuș, C., Martín-Martín, M., Tosquella, J., Samsó, J.M. and Tent-Manclús, J.E. (2023): Small scale RT cycles in Lower-Middle Eocene limestones of External Prebetic Units of Betic Cordillera (Alicante Zone). Abstract Book, Fourteenth Romanian Symposium on Palaeontology, Bucharest, 14-15 September 2023 / Zoltán Csiki-Sava, Alina Floroiu, Maria-Raluca Văcărescu, Iuliana Lazăr – Bucureşti : Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti -Bucharest University Press, 2023, 83-84 p.
A biostratigraphic study of the Paleocene-Eocene of the stratigraphically continuous with the northern foreland (Iberian Meseta), Prebetic has been studied by using planktonic foraminifera, calcareous nannoplankton, and larger benthic foraminifera. Twelve sections have been studied along the chain: four sections in the Alicante Sector, four in the Murcia Sector, two in the Granada Sector, and two sections in the Jaén Sector.
The Paleocene-Eocene Prebetic succession can be divided into three stratigraphic formations related by lateral and diachronic changes of facies: limestones and calcarenites (rich in larger benthic foraminifera) in middle stratigraphic position, and two marly-clayey formations in lower and upper positions, respectively. The middle unit represents an internal marine platform, while the two marly-clayey represent the external platform (and the upper slope in a few cases). As a whole, above the unconformity, representing the missing interval which includes the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundary.
Cite as: Martín-Martín, M., Miclăuș, C., Serrano, F., Tosquella, J., Samsó, J.M., Tent-Manclús, J.E., and Martín-Pérez, J.A. (2023): New biostratigraphic data on the Paleocene-Eocene succession from the Prebetic domain (Betic Cordillera: South Spain).Abstract Book, Fourteenth Romanian Symposium on Palaeontology, Bucharest, 14-15 September 2023 / Zoltán Csiki-Sava, Alina Floroiu, Maria-Raluca Văcărescu, Iuliana Lazăr – Bucureşti : Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti -Bucharest University Press, 2023, 79-80 p.
History of western Tethys Ocean and the birth of the circum-mediterranean orogeny as reflected by source-to-sink relations
A broad region of Mesozoic to Cenozoic tectonism along the western and central Circum- Mediterranean (CM) margins, from southern Spain (Betic Cordillera) to the northern Morocco (Rif) and Italy (Apennines), includes huge volumes of sedimentary record since the Late Paleozoic. These sediments are contemporaneous and related with the fragmentation of the Pangean supercontinent due to the rifting and progressive closure, as well as the following birth of the CM orogeny. The composition and stratigraphic relations of clastics in diverse sedimentary basins of the CM region reflect a complete record of provenance relations related to the progressive destruction of the Neotethyan Ocean and plate convergence between the two major plates of Europe and Africa, and Iberia, Adria and Mesomediterranean microplates located between them. The changing nature of clastic wedges reflects the provenance relations from different source rocks involving obduction of the oceanic lithosphere, the uplifted Alpine-Mediterranean Chains, and the accreted previously deformed Mesomediterranean Microplate (AlKaPeCa), as well local neovolcanic sources, within the spatial and temporal evolving geo-puzzle terranes of the CM orogeny. The provenance evolution of sediment provides insights into how plate convergence and continental collision direct the sediment dispersal pathway in Cenozoic basins due to closure of eastern and southern Alpine-Tethyan remnant ocean basins and to the dual dispersal pathways from the previously born Alps and the nascent AlKaPeCa at the expenses of the previously deformed Mesomediterranean terranes. The source-to-sink relations testify episodic deformation events, diachronous Tethyan basin development, differentiate sediment provenance from exhumed and uplifted Alpine and CM orogens, and palaeogeographic rearrangement of crustal blocks along the nascent Mediterranean region.
cite as: Critelli, S.; Martín-Martín, M. 2023. History of Western Tethys Ocean and the Birth of the Circum-Mediterranean Orogeny as Reflected by Source-to-Sink Relations. Int. Geol. Rev. 1–11, doi:10.1080/00206814.2023.2280787.
Carboniferous sandstone within the Paleo-Mesomediterranean Domain (Malaguide Subdomain), in southern Spain, represents a key detrital mode within the sedimentary budget of convergent plate boundaries during the Variscan s.s. to Paleotethysian orogenic time span (≈420–300 Ma). This Carboniferous detritus corresponds with Culm lithostratigraphic depositional unit, and it covers an important gap of information (paleogeographic, paleotectonic, source areas) to the area located between the Iberian-French massifs and the African Paleo-Atlas, in the western Paleotethys. Sandstone composition is quartzolithic and records an important high-to-medium-low grade metamorphic content. The source area was a lithic and transitional recycled orogen with a signature of volcanic and ophiolitic detritus (≈330 Ma and/or older). These supplies seem to be derived from a mid-crustal deformed and thrusted pre-late Ordovician to Early Carboniferous terrane, involved in the plate convergence (the southern Europe Iberian-French massifs overriding the north African area) southeatwards of the Variscan s.s. orogenic system, rapidly exhumed and uplifted at mid-Late Carboniferoous time. Consequently, in the overriding hinterland (southern Europe: Iberian-French massifs), metamorphic basement should be already structured during middle Carboniferous when thrusting took place and deposition of Culm facies started in the Malaguide Complex, suggesting Proterozoic-Early Carboniferous (most probably, ≈420 to 330 Ma) metamorphic highlands. The presence of serpentinite-like detritus (≈330 Ma and/or older) seems to indicate a metamorphosed oceanic crust being dismantled at that time. Thus, sources from ophiolitic suture (most probably developed at ≈420–330 Ma) zones are tentatively proposed in other northern Gondwana of southwestern Europe. The occurrence of a synsedimentary volcanic activity (andesitic) should be related to a lost magmatic arc (most probably developed at ≈360–330 Ma), reinforcing the idea of a nearby subduction area. Therefore, the thick terrigenous Culm deposits (≈330–300 Ma) from the Malaguide Subdomain could be deposited in a complex foreland system basin connected northward with carbonate platforms and with a crystalline highland uplifted domain from the southern Europe Iberian-French massifs and southward with the African Paleo-Atlas Domain. The studied mid- to late Carboniferous sandstone petrofacies deeply contributes to paleogeographic reconstructions since block fragmentation and spreading, during the Paleotethysian and Alpine orogenies, rearranged the Paleozoic paleogeography now part of the Cenozoic Perimediterranean Chains. After the correlation with the Carboniferous from other western Paleotethys domains, new paleogeographic-paleotectonic constraints.
cite as: Criniti, S.; Martín-Martín, M.; Martín-Algarra, A. New Constraints for the Western Paleotethys Paleogeography-Paleotectonics Derived from Detrital Signatures: Malaguide Carboniferous Culm Cycle (Betic Cordillera, S Spain). Sediment. Geol. 2023, 458, 106534, doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2023.106534.
This paper introduces a Python application for visualizing an imbricate thrust system. The application uses the traditional geologic information to create an HTML geological map with real topography and a set of geological cross-sections with the essential structural and stratigraphic elements. On the basis of the high geological knowledge gained during the last three decades, the Palomeque sheets affecting the Cenozoic Malaguide succession in the Internal Betic Zone (SE Spain) were selected to show the application. In this area, a Malaguide Cretaceous to Lower Miocene succession is deformed as an imbricate thrust system, with two thrusts forming a duplex, affected later by a set of faults with a main strike-slip kinematic. The modeled elements match well with the design of the stratigraphic intervals and the structures reported in recent scientific publications. This proves the good performance of this Python application for visualizing the structural and stratigraphic architecture. This kind of application could be a crucial stage for future groundwater, mining, and civil engineering management.
Cite as: Bullejos, M., Martín-Martín, M., 2023. A Python Application for Visualizing an Imbricate Thrust System: Palomeque Duplex (SE, Spain). Geosciences. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences13070207
Supplementary Materials: The following supporting information can be downloaded at: https://www. mdpi.com/article/10.3390/geosciences13070207/s1: interactive 3D geological map: 3D_Palomeque_map_sections.html; interactive 3D geological sections: 3D_Palomeque_map_sections.html. Python codes and the detailed instructions to download and run the codes can be found in a GitHub repository at: https://github.com/bullejos/visualizing-an-imbricate-thrust-system.
Cenozoic detrital suites from the Internal Betic-Rif Cordilleras (S Spain and N Morocco): implications for paleogeography and paleotectonics
A synthesis of Cenozoic detrital suites from the Internal Betic-Rif Cordilleras is discussed in relations with major paleotectonic phases during growth of orogenic belts. The discussion has been focused on the Malaguide and Ghomaride complexes that have a Cenozoic sedimentary detritic cover. The heterogeneous petrographic composition of coarse detrital rocks, and the mineralogy and geochemistry of mudrocks indicate a multiple source area consisting in metamorphic, and recycled siliciclastic and carbonate source rocks, with a minor supply of mafic rocks during the early Miocene. The siliciclastic coarse detrital suites plot mainly in a wide area at the Qm-Lt side in a Qm-F-Lt diagram reflecting their transition between a craton, quartzose recycled, quartzose transitional orogenic, and finally lithic transitional orogenic provenance type. The Paleocene-Eocene successions seem to be affected by higher weathering effects than the Oligo-Miocene ones. Significant recycling and reworking processes should take place during the Paleocene-Eocene and the Oligo-Miocene before the final deposition. The source areas were characterized by non-steady-state weathering conditions reflecting a progressive cooling contemporaneous to the typical evolution of source areas where active tectonism allows erosion within weathering profiles developed on source rocks. A sharp increase of siliciclastic content together with the changes in sorting-recycling-weathering suggests abrupt changes in the source area starting from Oligocene. This fact allows subdividing the succession into the lower (Paleocene-Eocene) and the upper (Oligocene-Early Miocene) cycles. Lower cycle was contemporaneous to the Eo-Alpine tectonic phase, which was reflected in the Malaguide and Ghomaride domains by basement folding and deep tectonics with fault-propagation folds, accomplished by minor rising or reliefs and deepening of subsidence areas. Contrarily, the upper cycle took place during the Neo-Alpine phase, when in the Malaguide and Ghomaride domains, thrustings should become superficial contemporaneous to subduction and stacking of tectonic units.
This led to a strong increasing of rising areas reflected in the sedimentation by the occurrence of coarse terrigenous deposits in wedge-top basins. The early Miocene also shows the influence of volcanism in the Mediterranean region, and/or the erosion of magmatic-metamorphic rocks derived from deep tectonic levels affected in the Eo-Alpine phase or belonging to the Hercynian bedrock. This evolution fits well with recent paleogeographic-geodynamic models for the western-central Mediterranean.
Cite as: Martín-Martín, M., Perri, F., Critelli, S., 2023. Cenozoic detrital suites from the Internal Betic-Rif Cordilleras (S Spain and N Morocco): implications for paleogeography and paleotectonics. Earth-Science Rev. 243, 104498. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104498
The Eocene carbonate platforms of the Ghomaride Domain (Internal Rif Zone, N Morocco): a segment of the westernmost Tethys
The Eocene platform deposits in the Moroccan Ghomarides have been studied. These marine carbonate platforms were located in the westernmost Tethys approximately 30°N and 0°–10°W during the Cuisian to Bartonian. The study includes observations from fossiliferous assemblages (such as larger benthic foraminifera and colonial corals), their palaeoenvironment aswell as rock texture and fabric. Eight microfacieswere identified that represent different ramp environments in a ‘distally-steepened carbonate ramp’ type of platform. The studied deposits are organised into a transgressive succession composed of three sedimentary cycles: lower Cuisian, middle Cuisian and middle Lutetian to Bartonian. In the lower cycle, photic inner to mid ramp environments in mesotrophic conditions were prevalent. In the second cycle, photic inner ramp (sea-grass) to mid ramp environments inmesotrophic to oligotrophic conditions were observed. The upper cycle, which is more extensive and variable, represents mesophotic mid ramp to aphotic slope environments and changes gradually from oligotrophic to eutrophic conditions. During the Eocene, larger benthic foraminifera were dominant overtaking the zooxanthellate corals in the Tethys regions. Nevertheless, our study and the performed comparison with other Tethyan sectors have revealed that in some areas both coexisted in similar proportions. In some western Tethys regions close to the Atlantic Ocean, coinciding with areas influenced by upwelling currents, larger benthic foraminifera and coral build-ups were replaced by oyster reefs. The Ghomaride Domain represents an intermediate case between fossil assemblages of the northern Tethyan margin and eastern sector of the southern margin of the Tethys, with a dominance of larger benthic foraminifera but with a certain presence of corals as well. A good correlation exists between Eocene warm intervals and carbonate platform deposits in these domains. Contrarily, during cooling ones shallowing and gaps in the sedimentation are registered.
Two anomalies have been detected in the Ghomaride Domain during Ypresian and Bartonian times indicating particular climatic conditions or local tectonic interferences.
Cite as: Martín-Martín, M., Tosquella, J., Guerrera, F., Maaté, A., Hlila, R., Maaté, S., Tramontana, M., Le Breton, E., 2023. The Eocene carbonate platforms of the Ghomaride Domain (Internal Rif Zone, N Morocco): a segment of the westernmost Tethys. Sediment. Geol. 452, 106423. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2023.106423
This paper introduces a methodology based on Python libraries and machine learning k-Nearest Neighbors (KNN) algorithms to create an interactive 3D HTML model (3D_Vertical_Sections_Faults_LRD.html) that combines 2D grain-size KNN-prediction vertical maps (vertical sections) from which syn-sedimentary faults and other features in sedimentary porous media can be delineated. The model can be visualized and handled with conventional web browsers. The grain-size physical parameter is measurable, constant over instrumental time, handleable mathematically, and its range can be associated to lithological classes. Grain-size input data comes from a public database of 433 boreholes in the Llobregat River Delta (LRD) in NE Spain. Four lithological classes were defined: Pre-Quaternary basement, and Quaternary gravel, sand, and clay–silt. Using a new KNN-prediction algorithm, seven NW–SE (transversal) and three SW–NE (longitudinal) vertical sections were created following the orientation of faults identified in surface and detected in reflection seismic geophysical surveys. For exploratory K values in the 1–75 range were used. K around 25 provides the general and smoothy shape of the basement top surface, whereas K = 1 is a optimal value to represent the heterogeneity of the LRD at short distance. Using a new KNN-prediction confidence algorithm inspired in the Similarity Ratio algorithm for machine-learning KNN, the vertical sections overall confidence was evaluated as satisfactory. A general decreasing confidence trend according to the decreasing data density with depth and from inland to seaward was found. The vertical sections created with K = 1 show horizontal interruptions (displacements or vertical steps) in the basement continuity and in the Quaternary coarse bodies (gravel and sand) attributable to the action of Quaternary active faults. These faults have been linked or correlated with well-known active faults in the area related in much cases with the Valencia Trough opening. Moreover, several faults detected in surface and other identified in this paper by the first time have been revealed as fault zones made of fault branches with different steps in an echelon-like arrangement.
Faulting seems to be more evident in the Pleistocene Lower Detrital Complex and much less active or inactive in the Holocene Upper Detrital Complex. Syn-tectonic gravel channels faulty controlled, progradation of gravel lobes, and lateral migration of channel bars were also observed. At its current development stage, this methodology could also be applied to other geological environments, making the due minor modifications of the code, and is especially suitable to reduce the high (usually unmeasurable) uncertainty associated to the qualitative geological data used in more complex numerical tools aimed at modelling a lot of geological resources (groundwater, minerals, geothermal, petroleum) or different Earth phenomena.
Cite as: Martín-Martín, M., Bullejos, M., Cabezas, D., Alcalá, F. J., (2023). Using python libraries and k-Nearest neighbors algorithms to delineate syn-sedimentary faults in sedimentary porous media. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 153. 106283. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2023.106283
Paleogene evolution of the External Rif Zone (Morocco) and comparison with other western Tethyan margins
The Paleogene evolution of the NW margin of the African Plate (Western External Rif Zone) was studied by means of multidisciplinary analyses of twenty-one stratigraphic logs, including tectofacies recognition, petro-mineralogical results, and thicknesses analysis. Four stratigraphic intervals were recognized separated by three unconformities coarsely aligned with the Cretaceous–Paleogene, Eocene–Oligocene and Oligocene–Miocene boundaries, respectively. Tectofacies appear from the late Ypresian being more frequents from the Oligocene as the tectonic activity increases. The petrology of detrital suites indicates recycled orogen-derived sediments, with quartz supplied from metamorphic rocks of the Atlas orogen and/or the African craton. On the basis of Mesozoic claymineral assemblages reported in the literature, the clay mineralogy of mudstones suggests upper Jurassic to upper Cretaceous terrains from the Internal Intrarif as the main source area of the Paleocene–Eocene successions, with sediment provenance reversion during the Oligocene and additional contribution of Paleocene to lower Eocene suites. The different displacement capability of the identified aluminic-magnesic claymineralogy enabled to deduce the relative proximity of the source area. These findings point out a complex sedimentary evolution characterized by a mixture of different lithotypes dating back to upper Jurassic. X-ray parameters helped to identify evidences of synsedimentary tectonics overprinting the inheritedmineralogy during some periods with weak burial diagenesis at most.
During the Paleogene a foreland basin is formed mainly in theMesorif and Prerif sub-domains. This foredeep was represented by two ‘sub-geosynclines’ separated by a relative bulge located in the External Mesorif. The Internal Intrarif could represent the relative orogenic front, advancing on the External Intrarif. The Eocene forebulge was located in the Ridges Domain, while the Gharb Basin was the backbulge of the system. During the Oligocene the depocentral area migrated southward and a homogeneization of thicknesses took also place in the whole margin. In this new configuration, the foredeep would be located in the External Mesorif (previously a relative bulge) while the Ridges Domain and the Gharb Basin continued to act as the system forebulge and backbulge, respectively. A comparison with the Paleogene evolution of other western Tethys external margins (Betic Chain, Tunisian Tell, Sicilian Maghrebids, and Apennines) has revealed more similarities than differences. The effects of the Eo-Alpine tectonics are recognized everywhere even if they decrease both from N to S, and from W to E in the different considered margins. The evolution of the compared margins shows a common pre-foredeed (Paleocene-Eocene) and beginning of foredeep (Oligocene) stages in the foreland basins.
Cite as: Martín-Martín, M., Guerrera F., Cañaveras, J. C., Alcalá F. J., Serrano, F., Maaté, A., Hlila, R., Maaté, S., Tramontana, M., Sánchez-Navas, A., and Le Breton, E. (2023). Paleogene evolution of the External Rif Zone (Morocco) and comparison with other western Tethyan margins. Sedimentary Geology, 448, 106367. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2023.106367