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FRINATEK-Fri mat.,naturv.,tek

Spatial and temporal coupling between tectonics and surface processes during lithosphere inversion of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian mountain belt

Awarded: NOK 9.2 mill.

While there is significant progress in understanding first order controls on styles of rifting and passive margin formation, still relatively little is known about factors that control the structural style of inversion of these structures. Especially the importance of structural weaknesses formed during earlier rifting versus new formed structures both at crust and lithosphere scale, and the role of mass redistribution by surface processes and their relative importance are not very well understood. The Py renean-Cantabrian mountain belt and associated structures in the Bay of Biscay is one of the best candidates to study feedback relations between tectonic inversion, inherited structures, and surface processes as: 1) inversion is moderate and the pre-oroge nic rift/passive margin structure can be very well constrained; 2) excellent geological and geophysical data-bases constrain present day crustal structure, inversion tectonics, foreland basin architecture, and exhumation history; 3) the belt shows remarka ble along-strike variations in the amount of convergence and style of deformation, providing different scenarios to study the feedback relations between tectonic inversion, structural inheritance and surface processes. To understand the fundamental coup ling between tectonic and surface processes it is essential to integrate data constraints on deep structure, tectonic evolution, exhumation and deposition, with quantitative coupled tectonic and surface process models. A strongly interdisciplinary approac h, coupling observational studies and theoretical modelling, will provide the conditions to significantly enhance our understanding of the coupling and feedback between large scale deformation, surface process response, and structural inheritance during i nversion tectonics in general and the Pyrenean mountain belt in particular.

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FRINATEK-Fri mat.,naturv.,tek