The Balearic Basin in the West Mediterranean: A Back-Arc Basin or a Foreland-Foredeep Basin?
June 10, 2015

Paolo Esestime*, Hannah Kearns and Phillip Hargreaves (Spectrum Geo Ltd). Presented at EAGE 2015, Madrid.

In this paper we question the origin of the Balearic Basin, univocally described in literature as a back-arc basin, which opened during the Oligocene-Miocene rift. Our interpretation highlighted the presence of an extensive Mesozoic basin, re-shaped during the Paleogene compression and uplift. The deepest units show polyphasic folds and thrusts, characterized by different structural styles, active mostly during the Paleogene. In the Early Miocene (Burdigalian-Serravallian), the gradual decrease in tectonic activity developed the final bathymetric setting of this basin.

WestMedImagePEWe propose to reclassify the Balearic Basin as foreland-foredeep basin, deformed between the frontal thrusts of the Betic Cordillera and the Pyrenees. A preliminary regional kinematic model has been presented as an alternative to the back-arc model, rearranging the evolution of this basin with the regional tectonic of the circum-Mediterranean orogens….

Full article can be downloaded using the link below.
Esestime, Kearns, Hargreaves – The Balearic Basin in the West Mediterranean: A Back-Arc Basin or a Foreland-Foredeep Basin?