Aspects of the structural evolution of the Lusitanian Basin in Portugal and the shelf and slope area offshore Portugal

Erik S. Rasmussen, Steen Lomholt, Claus Andersen, Ole V. Vejbæk

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

188 Citationer (Scopus)


The study provides a regional seismic interpretation and mapping of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic succession of the Lusitanian Basin and the shelf and slope area off Portugal. The seismic study is compared with previous studies of the Lusitanian Basin. From the Late Triassic to the Cretaceous the study area experienced four rift phases and intermittent periods of tectonic quiescence. The Triassic rifting was concentrated in the central part of the Lusitanian Basin and in the southernmost part of the study area, both as symmetrical grabens and half-grabens. The evolution of half-grabens was particularly prominent in the south. The Triassic fault-controlled subsidence ceased during the latest Late Triassic and was succeeded by regional subsidence during the early Early Jurassic (Hettangian) when deposition of evaporites took place. A second rift phase was initiated in the Early Jurrasic, most likely during the Sinemurian-Pliensbachian. This resulted in minor salt movements along the most prominent faults. The second phase was concentrated to the area south of the Nazare Fault Zone and resulted here in the accumulation of a thick Sinemurian-Callovian succession. Following a major hiatus, probably as a result of the opening of the Central Atlantic, resumed deposition occurred during the Late Jurassic. Evidence for Late Jurassic fault-controlled subsidence is widespread over the whole basin. The pattern of Late Jurassic subsidence appears to change across the Nazare Fault Zone. North of the Nazare Fault, fault-controlled subsidence occurred mainly along NNW-SSE-trending faults and to the south of this fault zone a NNE-SSW fault pattern seems to dominate. The Oxfordian rift phase is testified in onlapping of the Oxfordian succession on salt pillows which formed in association with fault activity. The fourth and final rift phase was in the latest Late Jurassic or earliest Early Cretaceous. The Jurassic extensional tectonism resulted in triggering of salt movement and the development of salt structures along fault zones. However, only salt pillow development can be demonstrated. The extensional tectonics ceased during the Early Cretaceous. During most of the Cretaceous, regional subsidence occurred, resulting in the deposition of a uniform Lower and Upper Cretaceous succession. Marked inversion of former normal faults, particularly along NE-SW-trending faults, and development of salt diapirs occurred during the Middle Miocene, probably followed by tectonic pulses during the Late Miocene to present. The inversion was most prominent in the central and southern parts of the study area. In between these two areas affected by structural inversion, fault-controlled subsidence resulted in the formation of the Cenozoic Lower Tagus Basin. Northwest of the Nazare Fault Zone the effect of the compressional tectonic regime quickly dies out and extensional tectonic environment seems to have prevailed. The Miocene compressional stress was mainly oriented NW-SE shifting to more N-S in the southern part.

Sider (fra-til)199-225
Antal sider27
Udgave nummer1-4
StatusUdgivet - 31 dec. 1998


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