How do continents deform during mantle exhumation? Insights from the northern Iberia inverted paleo‐passive margin, western Pyrenees (France).

Abstract : Extreme crustal thinning associated with subcontinental mantle exhumation characterizes the distal domain of some current, magma‐poor continental passive margins. Since these domains lie at abyssal depths and are hardly accessible, their internal structure and the finite strain of the stretched crust are not directly observed and are only inferred. Detailed field study was conducted on exceptionally preserved Cretaceous distal margin analogues in two key areas of the western Pyrenees (North Pyrenean Zone): the Urdach and Saraillé ultramafic massifs in the Chaînons Béarnais range. A tight sampling allowed us to characterize the conditions of the ductile deformation of the continental crust exhumed together with the mantle. New 40Ar/39Ar dating on muscovite constrains the timing of the last deformation of the continental crust in relation with mantle exhumation to the late Albian. We propose a new reconstruction for the distal part of the North Iberian paleo‐passive margin based on the following constraints: (i) post‐Silurian Paleozoic rocks are never found in the distal domain; (ii) lower crustal levels are not found in the exhumed crustal units; (iii) extension in the pre‐Silurian series is accomplished by lenticular deformation and pervasive ductile flattening through anastomosing extensional mylonitic shear zones at temperatures of 350‐450°C; (iv) at the final step of exhumation, only pre‐Silurian crustal lenses remained welded on the exhumed mantle. Finally, we discuss the importance of the crustal structure inherited from previous Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic events and we state that mantle exhumation was partially achieved before the Cretaceous North Pyrenean rifting.
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Riccardo Asti, Yves Lagabrielle, Serge Fourcade, Benjamin Corre, Patrick Monié. How do continents deform during mantle exhumation? Insights from the northern Iberia inverted paleo‐passive margin, western Pyrenees (France).. Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019, 38 (5), pp.1666-1693. ⟨10.1029/2018TC005428⟩. ⟨insu-02108893⟩

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