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Paleomagnetism of Permo-Triassic Redbeds from the Asturias and Cantabric Chain (northern Spain): evidence for strong lower Tertiary remagnetizations

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DOI: 10.1016/0040-1951(87)90228-9


Abstract The paleomagnetic analysis of the Permo-Triassic redbeds outcropping in the western part of the Cantabric Chain and the small Mesozoic basin from the Asturias shows that these formations have a history of complex magnetization. Only a few sites did not experience the remagnetization processes and retained original directions. The most reliable results yield a paleomagnetic pole located at: lat. 49° N, long. 217° E ( n = 11, α 95 = 3.7°), which is suggested as reliable Permo-Triassic data for the Iberian plate. Two remagnetization phases are recognized: a moderate phase predating the folding gave rise to a first overprinting. It is connected with the distension which occurred in the Pyreneo-Cantabrian region during the upper Jurassic-lower Cretaceous. The main remagnetization phase which occurred after the folding is dated from the lower Tertiary, and can be related to the compression induced on the northern boundary of Iberia from upper Cretaceous onwards. In some cases this phase led to a complete replacement of the primary magnetization. Previously published data, which were at the time interpreted as being European-like in direction, are attributed to this phase. Hence, our results do not support the hypothesis of a micro-plate called “le Danois block”, which was suggested in order to explain these results. We believe that there is no paleomagnetic evidence supporting the existence of a complicated boundary between Europe and Iberia during the mid-Cretaceous opening of the Bay of Biscay.

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