The southern Portuguese margin recorded significant extension and subsidence during the Jurassic, resulting in the formation of the Algarve basin. Recent studies have revealed the existence of oceanic crust, of potentially Jurassic age, underlying significant portions of the Gulf of Cadiz to the south and west of the Algarve basin, but the exact relationship between this basin and the oceanic crust is still ambiguous. In this study we integrate data derived from field outcrop studies, interpretation of commercial seismic, and gravity and magnetic modelling to better understand the transition from the rifted continental crust underlying the Algarve basin to the oceanic crust of the Gulf of Cadiz. This integrated approach reveals that the Gulf of Cadiz oceanic crust is related to the WSW-ENE trending Jurassic passive margin of southern Portugal, and is separated from the Algarve Basin by a domain of highly thinned continental crust.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Dañobeitia, J. J., Bartolomé, R., Checa, A., Maldonado, A., Slootweg, A. P.
    [1999] An interpretation of a prominent magnetic anomaly near the boundary between the Eurasian and African plates (Gulf of Cadiz, SW margin of Iberia). Marine Geology, 155, 45–62.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Gràcia, E., Danobeitia, J., Vergés, J., Bartolomé, R., Córdoba, D.
    [2003a]. Crustal architecture and tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Cadiz (southwest Iberian margin) at the convergence of the Eurasian and African plates. Tectonics, 22, 1033.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Gutscher, M.-A., Dominguez, S., Westbrook, G.K., Le Roy, P.
    , [2009a]. Deep structure, recent deformation and analog modeling of the Gulf of Cadiz accretionary wedge: implications for the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Tectonophysics, 475, 85–97.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Matias, H., Kress, P., Terrinha, P., Mohriak, W., Menezes, P.T. L., Matias, L., Santos, F., Sandnes, F.
    [2011] Salt tectonics in the western Gulf of Cadiz, southwest Iberia. AAPG Bulletin, 95, 1667–1698.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Pérez-López, A., Sanz de Galdeano, A. C.
    [1994] Tectónica de los materiales triásicos en el sector central de la Zona Subbética (Cordillera Bética). Revista Sociedad Geológica España, 7 (1–2), 141–153.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Sallarès, V., Gailler, A., Gutscher, M.-A., Graindorge, D., Bartolome, R., Gracia, E., Diaz, J., Zitellini, N.
    [2011] Seismic evidence for the presence of Jurassic oceanic crust in the central Gulf of Cadiz (SW Iberia). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 311, 112–123.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error