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Submarine Geology Framework of the Strait of Gibraltar


Three-dimensional, computer-generated bathymetric views and high-resolution sparker profiles are presented to illustrate the geological framework of the Strait of Gibraltar. "The Ridge," an apparent structural feature, divides the Strait into a deeper, more narrow eastern portion and a shallower, wider and more irregular western portion. Sparker profiles show the Moroccan and Spanish shelves to be underlain by rocks whose deformation correlates with the structural deformation of the Betic and Rif Mountains. However, a portion of the center portion of the Strait is floored with approximately 700 m of horizontal sediments despite the adjacent structural deformation and the presence of strong bottom currents. The alternating sequence of well-layered and chaotic-layered sediments suggests periods of large-scale subaqueous landslides that post-date the structural deformation of the Strait. In other areas, the Strait appears to be free of unconsolidated sediments. Large bedrock horsts modify the topography of the floor and side walls.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)