Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Rovere M., Ranero C., Sartori R., Torelli L., Zitellini N. Seismic images and magnetic signature of the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Africa-Eurasia plate boundary off SW Iberia. In: Geophysical Journal International, vol. 158 (2) pp. 554 - 568. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004.
Over the last two decades numerous studies have investigated the structure of the west Iberia continental margin, a non-volcanic margin characterized by a broad continent-ocean transition (COT). However, the nature and structure of the crust of the segment of the margin off SW Iberia is still poorly understood, because of sparse geophysical and geological data coverage. Here we present a 275-km-long multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) profile, line AR01, acquired in E-W direction across the Horseshoe Abyssal Plain, to partially fill the gap of information along the SW Iberia margin. Line AR01 runs across the inferred plate boundary between the Iberian and the African plates during the opening of the Central Atlantic ocean. The boundary separates crust formed during or soon after continental rifting of the SW Iberian margin from normal seafloor spreading oceanic crust of the Central Atlantic ocean. Line AR01 has been processed and pre-stack depth migrated to show the tectonic structure of the crust across the palaeo plate boundary. This boundary is characterized by a 30-40-km-wide zone of large basements highs related to landward-dipping reflections, which penetrate to depths of 13-15 km, and it marks a change in the character of the basement structure and relief from east to west. In this study, we have used pre-stack depth migrated images, the velocity model of line AR01 and magnetic data available in the area to show that the change in basement structure occurs across the fossil plate boundary, separating African oceanic crust of the M series (M21-M16) to the west from the transitional crust of the Iberian margin to the east.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02339.x
Subject continental margins
Horseshoe Abyssal Plain
magnetic anomalies
oceanic crust
plate tectonics
seismic reflection

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