Thrust Belt Development in the Eastern Pyrenees and Related Depositional Sequences in the Southern Foreland Basin

  1. P. A. Allen and
  2. P. Homewood
  1. C. Puigdefàbregas1,
  2. J. A. Muñoz1 and
  3. M. Marzo2

Published Online: 5 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303810.ch12

Foreland Basins

Foreland Basins

How to Cite

Puigdefàbregas, C., Muñoz, J. A. and Marzo, M. (1986) Thrust Belt Development in the Eastern Pyrenees and Related Depositional Sequences in the Southern Foreland Basin, in Foreland Basins (eds P. A. Allen and P. Homewood), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303810.ch12

Author Information

  1. 1

    Servei Geològic de Catalunya, Travessera de Gràcia, 56.08006 Barcelona, Spain

  2. 2

    Department d'Estratigrafia, Universitat de Barcelona, Granvia, 585.08007 Barcelona, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 22 DEC 1986

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632017324

Online ISBN: 9781444303810



  • thrust belt development in eastern Pyrenees and related depositional sequences in southern foreland basin;
  • nine depositional sequences - distinguished in South Pyrenean foreland basin, east of central South Pyrenean thrust sheets;
  • southward displacement of South Pyrenean thrust sheets;
  • depositional sequences;
  • balanced and restored cross-sections of Eastern Pyrenees and South Pyrenean foreland basin;
  • Corones Formation;
  • Cadi sequence - characterized by transgressive sediments;
  • Campdevanol sequence - sudden clastic influx of terrigenous turbidites above Armancies carbonate slope deposits;
  • tectonosedimentary evolution of foreland basin


Nine depositional sequences have been distinguished in the South Pyrenean foreland basin, east of the central South Pyrenean thrust sheets. Their characteristics and evolution and the southward migration of depocentres closely correlate with the emplacement of the south Pyrenean thrust sheets. These thrust sheets have been grouped into three main structural units: Upper Thrust Sheets, Middle Thrust Sheets and Lower Thrust Sheets. The thrusts developed in a piggyback sequence, the upper units being displaced southwards by the lower thrusts. The foreland basin was progressively incorporated into the younger thrust sheets. During the submarine emplacement of the Upper Thrust Sheets (early Eocene), tectonic loading caused a deepening of the northern margin of the basin, and a southwards migrating trough formed ahead of the thrust sheets. Contemporaneously, a shallow platform developed to the south. At the final stages of the emplacement of the Upper Thrust Sheets, the basin was plugged by evaporites. The emplacement of the Middle Thrust Sheets and the development of the antiformal stack underneath (Lower Thrust Sheet) during the middle and late Eocene resulted in uplift of cover and basement units which fed southward prograding deltas and fan-deltas. At this time, in the Catalan Coastal Range (southern margin), north directed thrusts and strike-slip faults induced fan-delta progradation, contributing to the final restriction of the basin and deposition of the second evaporite plug (late Eocene), the last marine episode in the southern foreland basin. During the Oligocene, the sole of the South Pyrenean thrusts emerged at the synorogenic surface producing alluvial fans and progressive unconformities. The nine depositional sequences have been grouped in three sedimentary cycles separated by evaporitic horizons. The three cycles correlate with different thrusting styles. The evaporitic sequences seem to coincide with the motion of thrusts along flats, whilst clastic wedges would coincide with thrust ramping.