A reconstruction of Iberia accounting for Western Tethys–North Atlantic kinematics since the late-Permian–Triassic
Abstract. The western European kinematic evolution results from the opening of the western Neotethys and the Atlantic oceans since the late Paleozoic and the Mesozoic. Geological evidence shows that the Iberian domain recorded the propagation of these two oceanic systems well and is therefore a key to significantly advancing our understanding of the regional plate reconstructions. The late-Permian–Triassic Iberian rift basins have accommodated extension, but this tectonic stage is often
... d in most plate kinematic models, leading to the overestimation of the movements between Iberia and Europe during the subsequent Mesozoic (Early Cretaceous) rift phase. By compiling existing seismic profiles and geological constraints along the North Atlantic margins, including well data over Iberia, as well as recently published kinematic and paleogeographic reconstructions, we propose a coherent kinematic model of Iberia that accounts for both the Neotethyan and Atlantic evolutions. Our model shows that the Europe–Iberia plate boundary was a domain of distributed and oblique extension made of two rift systems in the Pyrenees and in the Iberian intra-continental basins. It differs from standard models that consider left-lateral strike-slip movement localized only in the northern Pyrenees in introducing a significant strike-slip movement south of the Ebro block. At a larger scale it emphasizes the role played by the late-Permian–Triassic rift and magmatism, as well as strike-slip faulting in the evolution of the western Neotethys Ocean and their control on the development of the Atlantic rift.