Faculté des sciences

Thermal structure of the Alboran Domain in the Rif (northern Morocco) and the Western Betics (southern Spain). Constraints from Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material

Negro, François ; Beyssac, Olivier ; Goffé, B ; Saddiqi, O ; Bouybaouène, L

In: Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 2006, vol. 24, no. 4, p. 309-327

In the Rif (northern Morocco) and the Western Betics (southern Spain), the Alboran Domain forms a complex stack of metamorphic nappes including mantle peridotites (Beni Bousera and Ronda). We present in this paper new temperature data obtained in the Alboran Domain based on Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material (RSCM thermometry). In the lower metamorphic nappes of the Alboran Domain (lower... Plus

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    Summary
    In the Rif (northern Morocco) and the Western Betics (southern Spain), the Alboran Domain forms a complex stack of metamorphic nappes including mantle peridotites (Beni Bousera and Ronda). We present in this paper new temperature data obtained in the Alboran Domain based on Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material (RSCM thermometry). In the lower metamorphic nappes of the Alboran Domain (lower Sebtides–Alpujárrides) temperature ranges from > 640 °C at the base of the metapelitic sequence to 500 °C at the top. The relationships between field isotherms and nappe structure show that peak temperatures were reached during strong ductile thinning of these nappes whereas they partly postdate this main episode in the Rif. In the upper nappes of the Alboran Domain (Ghomarides–Maláguides), generally supposed to be only weakly metamorphosed, temperatures range from ~500 °C at their base down to < 330 °C at the top. This temperature gradient is consistent with progressive Cenozoic resetting of K–Ar and 40Ar–39Ar ages. These nappes were thus affected by a significant thermal metamorphism, and the available age data in the underlying Sebtides–Alpujárrides show that this metamorphism is related to the metamorphic evolution of the whole Alboran Domain during the Late Oligocene–Early Miocene. Such thermal structure and metamorphic evolution can be explained by generalized extension in the whole Alboran Domain crustal sequence. At a larger scale, the present thermal structure of the Alboran Domain is roughly spatially consistent around the Beni Bousera peridotites in the Rif, but much more affected by late brittle tectonics around the Ronda peridotites in the Western Betics. Therefore, on the basis of the observed thermal structure, the metamorphic evolution of the Alboran Domain can be interpreted as the result of the ascent of hot mantle units contemporaneous with thinning of the whole lithosphere during an Oligo-Miocene extensional event. The resulting structure has however been dismembered by late brittle tectonics in the Western Betics.