Ford M, Masini E, Vergés J, Pik R, Ternois S, Léger J, Dielforder A, Frasca G, Grool A, Vinciguerra C, Bernard T, Angrand P, Crémades A, Manatschal G, Chevrot S, Jolivet L, Mouthereau F, Thinon I, Calassou S. 2022. Evolution of a low convergence collisional orogen: a review of Pyrenean orogenesis, BSGF - Earth Sciences Bulletin 193: 19.


The Pyrenees is a collisional orogen built by inversion of an immature rift system during convergence of the Iberian and European plates from Late Cretaceous to late Cenozoic. The full mountain belt consists of the pro-foreland southern Pyrenees and the retro-foreland northern Pyrenees, where the inverted lower Cretaceous rift system is mainly preserved. Due to low overall convergence and absence of oceanic subduction, this orogen preserves one of the best geological records of early orogenesis, the transition from early convergence to main collision and the transition from collision to post-convergence. During these transitional periods, major changes in orogen behaviour reflect evolving lithospheric processes and tectonic drivers. Contributions by the OROGEN project have shed new light on these critical periods, on the evolution of the orogen as a whole, and in particular on the early convergence stage. By integrating results of OROGEN with those of other recent collaborative projects in the Pyrenean domain (e.g., PYRAMID, PYROPE, RGF-Pyrénées), this paper offers a synthesis of current knowledge and debate on the evolution of this immature orogen as recorded in the synorogenic basins and fold and thrust belts of both the upper European and lower Iberian plates. Expanding insight on the role of salt tectonics at local to regional scales is summarised and discussed. Uncertainties involved in data compilation across a whole orogen using different datasets are discussed, for example for deriving shortening values and distribution.

Original article

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