Geologische Rundschau

, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 440–447 | Cite as

Tectonics of the Beja-Acebuches Ophiolite: a major suture in the Iberian Variscan Foldbelt

  • P. Fonseca
  • A. Ribeiro


The Beja-Acebuches Ophiolitic Complex (BAOC) (south Portugal/Spain) corresponds to a high grade metamorphic belt along the boundary between Ossa-Morena and the South Portuguese Zones and comprises a lithostratigraphic sequence including (from top to bottom) metabasalts, (metamorphosed) multiple dyke intrusions in gabbro, flasergabbros and metaserpentinites. It is affected by three deformation phases. D1 affects the ophiolite lower stratigraphic units and is represented by a mylonitic cleavage with a stretching lineation where shear criteria indicates the sense of shear to be towards the north-north-east; this deformation event can be related to the ophiolite emplacement above the crystalline footwall of the Serpa antiform, affecting Precambrian basement and Cambrian cover rocks. The obduction polarity ist north-eastwards, similar to the subduction polarity that generates the Beja Gabbroic Complex (BGC), implying a flake geometry. The second deformation phase, D2, is represented by an intense WNW-ESE sinistral shear event which is responsible for the shattered appearance of the suture; D2 is reactivated later by a more brittle D3 event involving thrusting to the south-west, again with a sinistral component. 40Ar/39Ar isotopic ages were obtained for (metamorphosed) multiple dyke intrusions in the BAOC's gabbro (342.6 ± 1.4 Ma), for metagabbroic cumulates (340.7 ± 1.9 Ma), and for the undeformed/unmetamorphosed BGC (341.1 ± 1.3 Ma) occurring to the north of the ophiolitic suture. These ages reflect a last regional cooling event in the area which post-dates the ophiolite emplacement and the intrusion of the BGC through this oceanic sequence.

Key words

Tectonics Beja-Acebuches Ophiolite Iberian Variscan Foldbelt 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Fonseca
    • 1
  • A. Ribeiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Geologia da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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