Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 38/2016

Compositional signatures of the Cenozoic sedimentary successions of the Malaguide Complex (Betic Cordillera, Spain)

Francesco Perri (a), Salvatore Critelli (a), Manuel Martín-Martín (b), Ugo Amendola (a) & Stefano Montone (a)
(a) Dipartimento di Biologia, Ecologia e Scienze della Terra, Università della Calabria, via Ponte Bucci, 87036, Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy. Corresponding author e-mail: (b) Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra y del Medio Ambiente, Universidad de Alicante, Ap. 99 03080 Alicante, Spain

Volume: 38/2016
Pages: 77-80


The studied Cenozoic sedimentary successions consist of deposits from continental/shallow-water to deep-marine environments of the Malaguide Complex (Betic Cordillera) outcropping in the Sierra Espuña area (SE Spain). The aim of this study is to characterize the composition, source area(s) provenance and weathering processes of these sedimentary successions from the pre-orogenic (Paleocene-Early Oligocene) to the syn-orogenic (Late Oligocene-Early Miocene) stage using petrological and geochemical methodologies. The studied sandstones are mainly quartzolithic with abundant metamorphic and sedimentary lithic fragments. In particular, the composition of samples from the pre-orogenic cycle is mainly carbonate with important siliciclastic components that occur within the medium to fine grained arenites. The composition of samples from the syn-orogenic cycle is characterized by a sharp change from carbonate to siliciclastic terms. Thus, the composition of the overall sandstone samples is very heterogeneous and suggests a source area mainly characterized by the Malaguide basement and lower units of the Internal Betic Zone, that partially compose the Mesomediterranean Microplate. The geochemical proxies suggest a provenance mainly from felsic source area with a minor supply from mafic rocks in some samples of the syn-orogenic stage. Furthermore, palaeoweathering indices indicate low to moderate weathering conditions for the sources. The Cenozoic sedimentary successions of the Malaguide Complex played an important role in the geodynamic evolution of the Betic Cordillera that represents the key tectonic element of the western domains of the Mesomediterranean Microplate.


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