A brittle deformation tectonic analysis was performed in central Spain (Spanish Central System and Madrid Basin) in order to decipher and understand the deformation processes that take place in a typical intracontinental zone. 1174 fault slickensides obtained in materials with ages between Late Cretaceous and Quaternary have been analyzed by means of fault population analysis methods to reconstruct paleostress tensors. Nine earthquake focal mechanisms have been determined, with magnitudes ranging between 3 and 4.1. With regard to regional structural features and sedimentary record data, the characteristics of present-day and neotectonic stress fields have been figured out, which determine the neotectonic period for this region. Thus, we have established that the intraplate zone represented by central Spain has been subjected to a stress field from the Middle Miocene until the present-day with a largest horizontal shortening direction (S HMAX ) located between N130E and N160E. Finally, three paleostress maps with the main active structures are presented for: (a) Middle Miocene to Late Miocene, the period when the Spanish Central System was mainly formed, (b) Late Miocene to Quaternary, and (c) the present-day stress field, deduced from earthquake focal mechanisms.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Dec 15, 1996
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