The eastern French Pyrenees: from mountain belt to foreland basin
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThe Pyrenees is a young mountain belt formed as part of the larger Alpine collision zone. This excursion explores the development of the Pyrenean Mountain Belt in southern France, from its early extensional phase in the mid‐Cretaceous and subsequent collisional phase, through its uplift and erosion in the Late Cretaceous and again in the Eocene, which led to the development of the Aquitaine‐Languedoc foreland basin. One of the complexities of the Pyrenean Belt is that thrusting, uplift and erosion during the Pyrenean orogeny exposed older Variscan basement rocks in the central core of the mountains, rocks which were metamorphosed during an earlier event in the late Carboniferous. Thus, this orogenic belt also tells the story of an earlier collision between Laurussia in the north and Gondwana in the south at c. 300 Ma, prior to the onset of the Pyrenean events at c. 100 Ma. Here we seek to unravel these two separate orogenic stories.
CitationSatterfield, D., Rollinson, H., and Suthren, R. (2019). 'The eastern French Pyrenees: from mountain belt to foreland basin'. Geology Today: Localities explained 23, pp. 1-34.