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New insights on the Alboran Sea basin extension and continental collision from magnetic anomalies related to magmatism (western Mediterranean)

Abstract : In the Alboran Sea there are a few well exposed Neogene and Quaternary volcanic zones, often geographic highs, that are generally associated with magnetic anomalies. In this paper, we present a characterization of these magnetic anomalies based on a recent and accurate magnetic data compilation for the Abloran Sea area. The anomalies reveal the distribution of magmatism and shed light into the discussion about the origin and evolution of the westernmost Mediterranean. One of the most relevant magnetic anomalies is the Nador dipole, which extends from the Gourougou volcano to the Chafarinas Islands, and is related to an E-W crustal scale intrusion. However, the main NE-SW elongated continuous dipoles of the central Alboran Sea are not related to any surface structure, but they are parallel to the Alboran Ridge, which is the main volcanic high in the Alboran Sea, and are located to the north of it. These anomalies extend discontinuously eastward along the NW-SE dipoles located along the Yusuf fault zone. The results of our 2D magnetic forward modeling suggest that the causative bodies of these main magnetic dipoles are deep igneous bodies. According to the tectonic evolution of the region, and the high magnetic susceptibility values obtained, these igneous bodies probably are made of a basic igneous rocks. Their emplacement may represent the westward tip of the rift axis of the AlKaPeCa Domain, which is related to the Oligocene-Miocene NW-SE extension, and associated with the southern slab retreat stage and oceanic spreading of the Algerian basin. Afterwards, these bodies were displaced toward the west, together with the Alboran Domain, and affected by the STEP fault located at its southern limit. Since the Late Miocene, the north Alboran Ridge elongated intrusions acted as a backstop that conditioned the folding and uplift of the Alboran Ridge in a tectonic indentation setting. In this setting, the STEP fault is deformed and the eastern part of the bodies were segmented along the Yusuf transtensional fault system. Simultaneously, the E-W crustal body related to the Nador magnetic dipole was emplaced, possibly evidencing a slab tearing process. The deep seated basic igneous bodies constitute main crustal heterogeneities that reveal and drive the Alboran Sea tectonic inversion.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 22, 2021 - 11:51:30 AM
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Víctor Tendero-Salmerón, Jesus Galindo-Zaldivar, Elia d'Acremont, Manuel Catalán, Yasmina Martos, et al.. New insights on the Alboran Sea basin extension and continental collision from magnetic anomalies related to magmatism (western Mediterranean). Marine Geology, Elsevier, 2022, 443, pp.106696. ⟨10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106696⟩. ⟨insu-03439507⟩

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