Late Cenozoic Basin Opening in Relation to Major Strike-Slip Faulting Along the Porto–Coimbra–Tomar Fault Zone (Northern Portugal)

  1. Gary Nichols,
  2. Ed Williams and
  3. Chris Paola
  1. Alberto Gomes1,
  2. Helder I. Chaminé2,3,
  3. José Teixeira4,
  4. Paulo E. Fonseca5,
  5. Luís C. Gama Pereira6,
  6. Ary Pinto de Jesus7,
  7. Augusto Pérez Albertí8,
  8. Maria A. Araújo1,
  9. Alexandra Coelho4,
  10. António Soares de Andrade4 and
  11. Fernando T. Rocha4

Published Online: 30 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304411.ch7

Sedimentary Processes, Environments and Basins: A Tribute to Peter Friend

Sedimentary Processes, Environments and Basins: A Tribute to Peter Friend

How to Cite

Gomes, A., Chaminé, H. I., Teixeira, J., Fonseca, P. E., Gama Pereira, L. C., de Jesus, A. P., Pérez Albertí, A., Araújo, M. A., Coelho, A., de Andrade, A. S. and Rocha, F. T. (2007) Late Cenozoic Basin Opening in Relation to Major Strike-Slip Faulting Along the Porto–Coimbra–Tomar Fault Zone (Northern Portugal), in Sedimentary Processes, Environments and Basins: A Tribute to Peter Friend (eds G. Nichols, E. Williams and C. Paola), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304411.ch7

Author Information

  1. 1

    Departamento de Geografia, FLUP, Universidade do Porto, Via Panorâmica s/n, 4150-565 Porto, Portugal

  2. 2

    Laboratório de Cartografia e Geologia Aplicada, Departamento de Engenharia Geotécnica, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, ISEP, Rua Dr. A. Bernadino de Almeida, 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal

  3. 3

    Centro de Minerais Industriais e Argilas, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal

  4. 4

    Departamento de Geociências, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

  5. 5

    Departamento de Geologia, Universidade de Lisboa (LATTEX), Campo Grande, Edifício C6, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal

  6. 6

    Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Universidade de Coimbra (GMSG), Largo Marquês de Pombal; 3000-272 Coimbra, Portugal

  7. 7

    Departamento de Geologia, Universidade do Porto (GIPEGO), Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal

  8. 8

    Departamento de Xeografía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Faculdad de Xeografía e Historia, Campus Universitario Norte, 15782 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 7 DEC 2007

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 38 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis

Series Editor Information

  1. School of Earth Sciences & Geography, Centre for Earth & Environmental Science Research, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405179225

Online ISBN: 9781444304411



  • late cenozoic basin opening in relation to major strike-slip faulting - Porto–Coimbra–Tomar fault zone;
  • Porto–Coimbra–Tomar fault zone and north-northeast trending Verin–Régua–Penacova sinistral strike-slip fault;
  • Albergaria-a-Velha–Águeda fault segment;
  • morphology and fault architecture;
  • Valongo do Vouga tectonic basin (central sector);
  • Porto–Albergaria-a-Velha–Águeda metamorphic belt


Northern Portugal is located in a tectonically complex area affected by major strike-slip zones, namely the north-northwest-trending Porto–Coimbra–Tomar fault zone and the north-northeast-trending Verin–Régua–Penacova sinistral strike-slip fault. Within this region, the sector between Albergaria-a-Velha and Águeda is crucial since it is highly affected by large-scale strike-slip faults and extensional deformation events. Late Cenozoic tectonics in northern Iberia resulted from the collision of the Africa and Eurasia plates, especially in the eastern segment of the Azores–Gibraltar plate boundary. The continued plate indentation originated the movement of major strike-slip faults in the Iberian Massif. The movement on these faults, accompanying the regional stress-field during the early Miocene, initiated the formation of incipient Cenozoic pull-apart basins.

The Albergaria-a-Velha–Águeda fault segment has been studied in an attempt to clarify the dynamic relationship between this active fault zone and the evolving landscape. Three geomorphological sectors were identified in the Albergaria-a-Velha region: (i) a littoral platform consisting of a polygenic erosion surface overlain by late Cenozoic alluvial–fluvial sequences; (ii) a tectonically controlled basin (Valongo do Vouga basin) located between hillslopes of two river valleys and normal faults with N–S orientation, where late Cenozoic subsidence is suggested by an influx of alluvial sandy conglomerates; and (iii) a domain of inner elevations of wide metapelitic landforms. Reactivation of the prevailing north-northwest-striking Upper Proterozoic/Palaeozoic basement is a regionally important control on the orientation and kinematics of late Cenozoic faults. Thus, the opening and development of these basins was influenced by the intersection of the north-northwest-trending dextral faults with north-northeast-trending sinistral faults associated with north–south shortening and east–west extension.