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Journal of Iberian Geology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 431–445 | Cite as

Diapiric activity affecting Late Pliocene to Pleistocene sediments under a tectonic compressive regime: an example from the Western Iberian Margin (Srª da Vitória beach, central Portugal)

  • J. Cabral
  • P. Ribeiro
  • A. Ramos
  • Pedro P. Cunha
Research Paper
  • 40 Downloads

Abstract

The structural evolution of a folded and faulted Upper Pliocene to Lower Pleistocene sedimentary unit exposed at the coastal cliffs of Srª da Vitória beach was studied. This sequence is wedged between the S. Pedro de Moel diapir, to the north, and the Pombal–Leiria–Nazaré fault zone, to the south, providing striking evidence of neotectonic activity in the Western Iberian Margin and of its role in the triggering of halokinesis. Several deformational events were recognised, related to a regional NW–SE compression that activated halokinesis of underlying Triassic to Lower Jurassic (Hettangian) silty clays and gypsiferous marls. The combined effects of the compression and of the triggered halokinesis generated a NW-verging asymmetric syncline affecting the studied sedimentary unit, where strain was partially accommodated by faulting and crenulation in micaceous horizons of the sandy deposits. This deformation represents the local accommodation on the sedimentary cover of transpression along the S. Pedro de Moel fault, which was intruded by the Triassic to Hettangian evaporitic marls and silty clays, and reactivated with left-lateral reverse movement. This regional fault prolongs offshore, being parallel to other NE–SW trending faults that are located near the upper reach of the Nazaré submarine canyon, reinforcing the evidence for neotectonic activity on this major fault system of the Portuguese Atlantic margin.

Keywords

Active tectonics Compression Halokinesis Pliocene Pleistocene Western Iberian Margin 

Resumen

Se ha estudiado la evolución estructural de una unidad sedimentaria plegada y fallada del Plioceno superior a Pleistoceno expuesta en los acantilados costeros de la playa de Srª da Vitória. Esta secuencia se encuentra localizada entre el diapiro de S. Pedro de Moel, al norte, y la zona de falla de Pombal - Leiria - Nazaré, al sur, y proporciona una muy buena evidencia de actividad neotectónica en el margen ibérico occidental y de su papel en la activación de halocinesis. Se reconocieron varios eventos de deformación, relacionados con una compresión NW-SE regional que activó la halocinesis de arcillas limosas y margas yesíferas subyacentes del Triásico a Jurásico Inferior (Hettangiense). Los efectos combinados de la compresión y de la halocinesis desencadenada generaron un sinclinal asimétrico con vergencia hacia el NW que afecta a la unidad sedimentaria estudiada, donde la deformación fue parcialmente acomodada por fallamiento y crenulación en horizontes micáceos de los depósitos arenosos. Esta deformación representa la acomodación local en la cobertera sedimentaria de la transpresión a lo largo de la falla de S. Pedro de Moel que, a su vez, ha sido intruida por las margas evaporíticas y las arcillas limosas del Triásico al Hettangiense, y reactivada con movimiento inverso lateral izquierdo. Esta falla regional se prolonga hacia el offshore, siendo paralela a otras fallas NE-SW que se ubican cerca del cañón submarino de Nazaré, lo que refuerza la evidencia de actividad neotectónica en este importante sistema de fallas del margen atlántico portugués.

Palabras clave

Tectónica activa Compresión Halocinesis Plioceno Pleistoceno Margen ibérico occidental 

Notes

Acknowlegements

This study was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through projects UID/GEO/50019/2013 (IDL), UID/Multi/00611/2013, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006922 (CITEUC), ReNATURE (Centro 2020, Centro-01-0145-FEDER-000007) and UID/MAR/04292/2013 (MARE). The authors wish to thank Prof. Jonathan A. Haws (Dep. Anthropology, Univ. Louisville) for the collaboration on the field survey, and Ricardo Ramalho (IDL, Univ. Lisbon) for the detailed review of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Dom Luiz, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.CITEUC, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Geophysical and Astronomical ObservatoryUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Earth Sciences, MARE-Marine and Environmental Sciences CentreUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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