Early Cretaceous flysch from Betic-Maghrebian and Europe Alpine Chains (Gibraltar Strait to the Balkans): comparison and palaeotectonic implications

Pages: 
pp. 15-22
Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche, University of Catania, Corso Italia n. 57, 95129-Catania, Italy
Abstract: 

Early Cretaceous flysch crops out along all the Alpine Chains of the western, central and eastern Europe for more than 7000 km from the Gibraltar Arc to the Balkans. In the different sectors of the Alpine Chain (Maghrebides, Apennines, Alps, Dinarides, Hellenides, Carpathians and Balkans) these flysch deposits, characterized by calcareous turbidites grading upwards into arenaceous turbidites, mark the contact between the internal and external areas. They show a provenance linked to internal areas and are made up by crystalline sources and locally by ophiolitic complexes. Due to the Cretaceous re-organization of the plates, all these successions experienced a Late Cretaceous tectonics, with the only exception of the Maghrebian flysch deposits. In this area, similar tectonic events have never been recorded but only suspected and aged to slightly later times.
    This paper aims to show the stratigraphic, geological and structural similarities of all these Early Cretaceous flysch sediments by emphasizing the difficulties to imagine that only the Maghrebian sector of the Alpine Tethys escaped the Mid- to Late-Cretaceous tectonics widely recognized in all the other segments of the Alpine Chain. In fact the Late Cretaceous or post-Cretaceous tectonics connected with a “mesoalpine” stage, has been hypothesized for the Maghrebian chain at the beginning of the nineties and recently it has been supported by the presence of Alpine metamorphic overprints recognized within the Hercynian crystalline units of the Calabria- Peloritani Arc (southern Italy). This tectonics seems to be linked to an early segmentation and deformation of the Maghrebian Early Cretaceous flysch with local underthrusting beneath the southern European margin.

Keywords: 

Early Cretaceous flysch, Maghrebian Chain, Europe Alpine Chains, sandstone petrography, provenance, Cretaceous tectonics

VOLUME 38 (1-3)/December 2009

Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1113 Sofia; Institute of Isotope Geochemistry and Mineral Resources, ETH-Zurich, 8092 Zurich
|
Institute of Isotope Geochemistry and Mineral Resources, ETH-Zurich, 8092 Zurich
|
Central Laboratory of Mineralogy and Crystallography, Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1113 Sofia
|
Central Laboratory of Mineralogy and Crystallography, Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1113 Sofia
|
Central Laboratory of Mineralogy and Crystallography, Bulgarian Academy of Science, 1113 Sofia;
|
Institute of Geology, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, 167982 Syktyvkar, Russia

Department of Geography & Climatology, Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, University Campus (Panepistimiopolis), Zografou, ZC 15784, Athens, Greece
|
Department of Dynamic-Tectonic-Applied Geology, Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, University Campus (Panepistimiopolis), Zografou, ZC 15784, Athens, Greece
|
Department of Geography & Climatology, Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, University Campus (Panepistimiopolis), Zografou, ZC 15784, Athens, Greece

Institute of Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia 1113, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl. 23
|
Institute of Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia 1113, Acad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl. 23

Department of Hydrogeology, Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
|
Department of Hydrogeology, Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
|
Hydrogeology Laboratory, Institute of Water Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia

Sofia University, Dept. of Geology, Paleontology and Fossil Fuels, 15 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
|
Sofia University, Dept. of Geology, Paleontology and Fossil Fuels, 15 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria