Palaeogeomorphological Controls on the Distribution and Sedimentary Styles of Alluvial Systems, Neogene of the NE of the Madrid Basin (Central Spain)

  1. M. Marzo and
  2. C. Puigdefábregas
  1. A. M. Alonso Zarza,
  2. J. P. Calvo and
  3. M. A. García del Cura

Published Online: 14 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303995.ch19

Alluvial Sedimentation

Alluvial Sedimentation

How to Cite

Alonso Zarza, A. M., Calvo, J. P. and García del Cura, M. A. (1993) Palaeogeomorphological Controls on the Distribution and Sedimentary Styles of Alluvial Systems, Neogene of the NE of the Madrid Basin (Central Spain), in Alluvial Sedimentation (eds M. Marzo and C. Puigdefábregas), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303995.ch19

Editor Information

  1. Barcelona, Spain

Author Information

  1. UEI Petrología, Inst. Geología Económica, Facultad de C. Geológicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 1993

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632035458

Online ISBN: 9781444303995



  • Palaeogeomorphological controls;
  • Tabular conglomerate beds;
  • Multistorey conglomerate and sandstone bodies;
  • Proximal areas consist mainly of gravel bodies;
  • Gravel bodies showing convex up morphologies;
  • distal areas characterized by mottled silts and clays;
  • distribution of the slope-scree deposits and minor fans


A large variety of alluvial systems were developed in the NE of the Madrid Basin during the Miocene. The different alluvial morphologies as well as the distribution of facies within each of the systems provide an opportunity to evaluate the influence of the palaeomorphology of the basin margins and other factors in the construction of the alluvial deposits.

Two different kinds of depositional systems are described: (i) major fluvial distributary systems (averaging 50 km2 in extent), and (ii) minor fans (2–10 km2) and/or slope-scree deposits. The largest distributary fluvial systems (Alarilla, Jadraque, Baides and Tajuña) represented the points of highest sediment input into the basin. The location of these major systems was controlled by the palaeomorphology of the margins, particularly in areas where large linear depressions were developed in relation to structural lineations. The sedimentation in the fluvial distributary systems was dominated by braided streams associated with more or less broad alluvial plains.

In constrast, minor fans and slope deposits were located along more regular areas of the palaeoreliefs and their deposition was mainly by debris flows. Gravel fill channels occur occasionally in this type of alluvial system.

The mosaic of alluvial depositional systems in the northeastern part of the Madrid Basin during the Miocene is interpreted in the light of their location and depositional styles. The role of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the development of the alluvial systems is also discussed.