Fan-Delta Facies Associations in Late Neogene and Quaternary Basins of Southeastern Spain

  1. Albina Colella2 and
  2. David B. Prior3
  1. C. J. Dabrio

Published Online: 2 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303858.ch5

Coarse-Grained Deltas

Coarse-Grained Deltas

How to Cite

Dabrio, C. J. (1990) Fan-Delta Facies Associations in Late Neogene and Quaternary Basins of Southeastern Spain, in Coarse-Grained Deltas (eds A. Colella and D. B. Prior), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303858.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Universita della Calabria, Italy

  2. 3

    Atlantic Geoscience Center, Nova Scotia, Canada

Author Information

  1. Departamento de Estratigrafía, Facultad de Geológicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040-Madrid, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 19 OCT 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632028948

Online ISBN: 9781444303858



  • fan-delta facies associations;
  • Cope Basin;
  • controls on sedimentation;
  • offlapping marine;
  • uplifted and downed fault blocks;
  • Almanzora basin


Fan deltas occur in a wide range of tectonic and sedimentary settings that are likely to generate varied associations of facies. This is the case in some late Neogene basins of the Betic Cordillera (southeastern Spain) which are described in terms of increasing subsidence. A better understanding of the geodynamics of basins can be obtained from a careful study of the facies associations found in these examples.

In the Cope Basin, most of the coarse sediment of the delta front was captured in beaches of reflective type. Pleistocene changes of sea level coupled with low rates of subsidence produced offlapping coastal units on a scale of a few metres. In the Almanzora River Basin, corals and algae repeatedly colonized the shallow delta fronts forming patch reefs despite the large amounts of conglomerate and micaceous sandstone supplied by fan-delta processes. Megasequences on a decameter scale were generated due to lateral shifting of the active delta lobes, under an assumed tectonic control. In the Carrascoy range (Murcia Basin), lateral displacement of depocentres of coarse sediments generated both coarsening and fining-upwards megasequences tens to hundreds of metres thick under prominent synsedimentary tectonic activity. Progradation of channel-dominated, fan-delta lobes generated lenticular units of kilometric radius that related laterally to active slopes and submarine fans. In the Sorbas (Tabernas) Basin, tectonics was the most prominent control on sedimentation, masking the effects of sea-level changes and the lateral migration of fan deltas along the hundreds to thousand metres thick filling of the basin. Large-scale sliding off the steep basin margin produced huge megabreccia beds that incorporated a mixture of debris from various sources.