Lithospheric folding in Iberia



[1] Integration of stress indicator data, gravity data, crustal kinematics data, and analysis of topography and recent vertical motions demonstrates the occurrence of consistently oriented spatial patterns of large-scale Alpine to recent intraplate deformation in Iberia. The inferred upper crustal and lithospheric deformation patterns and the timing of the associated expressions at or near the surface support the existence of a close coupling with plate boundary processes operating at the margins of Iberia. Patterns of lithosphere and upper crustal folds are oriented perpendicular to the main axis of present-day intraplate compression in Iberia inferred from structural analysis of stress indicator data and focal mechanism solutions. These findings suggest the presence of lithospheric folds, with wavelengths compatible with theoretical predictions of folding wavelengths of Variscan lithosphere. Stress-induced intraplate deformation set up by plate interactions is compatible with indications for the absence of present-day deep mantle-lithosphere interactions inferred from seismic tomography.