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Structure and evolution of a passive margin in a compressive environment: Example of the south-western AlpseLigurian basin junction during the Cenozoic

Abstract : We focus on the northern Ligurian margin, at the geological junction of the subalpine domain and the Ligurian oceanic basin, in order (1) to identify the location of the southern limit of the Alpine compressive domain during the Cenozoic, and (2) to study the influence of a compressive environment on the tectonic and sedimentary evolution of a passive margin. Based on published onshore and offshore data, we first propose a chronology of the main extensional and compressional regional tectonic events. High-resolution seismic data image the margin structure down to w3 km below seafloor. These data support that past rifting processes control the present-day margin structure, and that 2800e4000 m of synrift sediment was deposited on this segment of the margin in two steps. First, sub-parallel reflectors indicate sediment deposition within a subsident basin showing a low amount of extension. Then, a fanshaped sequence indicates block tilting and a higher amount of extension. We do not show any influence of the Miocene Alpine compression on the present-day margin structure at our scale of investigation, despite the southern subalpine relief formed in the close hinterland at that time. The southern front of the Miocene Alps was thus located upslope from the continental margin. Finally, a comparison with the Gulf of Lions margin suggests that the tectonic influence of the Alpine compression on the rifting processes is restrited to an increase of the subsidence related to flexure ahead of the Alpine front, explaining abnormally high synrift thicknesses in the study area. The Alpine environment, however, has probably controlled the sedimentary evolution of the margin since the rifting. Indeed, sediment supply and distribution would be mainly controlled by the permanent building of relief in the hinterland and by the steep basin morphology, rather than by sea-level fluctuations, even during the Messinian sea-level low-stand.
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https://hal-brgm.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00593493
Contributeur : Isabelle Thinon <>
Soumis le : lundi 16 mai 2011 - 11:27:02
Dernière modification le : mardi 26 mai 2020 - 18:50:42

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Françoise Sage, Marie-Odile Beslier, Isabelle Thinon, Christophe Larroque, Jean-Xavier Dessa, et al.. Structure and evolution of a passive margin in a compressive environment: Example of the south-western AlpseLigurian basin junction during the Cenozoic. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2011, 28, pp.1263-1282. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2011.03.012⟩. ⟨hal-00593493⟩

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