Resumen: We infer that the Alboran Basin, the first western Mediterranean Basin found after crossing Gibraltar, is an orogenic float underlained by a deÂ´ collement system, a multi-layered ductile shear extending from 10km to between 30 and 40km below sea level. This float was formed as consequence of the
collision of the Africanâ€“Eurasian plates in the Oligoceneâ€“late Miocene. Synchronous with this compression the float experienced basin wide crustal thinning and subsidence about 25 m/year ago by subcrustal processes. Since latest Miocene the float has undergone compression due to the continuous convergence of Eurasia and Africa. The faults created as a result of this compression are dominated by a conjugate system of northeast trending left-lateral and northwest right-lateral strikeâ€“slip faults. This deformation is taking place under a simple shear mechanism. Associated with the northwest and northeast lateral faults are zones of compression trending west and east of north extending from the base of the basinâ€™s north upper slope to the Alboran Ridge. The initial morphology of the Alboran Ridge on the southern side of the Alboran Basin was due to the construction of a volcanic edifice at the northeast end of the ridge and igneous activity along northeast trending fractures southwest of the edifice. At the northeast end of the Alboran Ridge motion along a right-lateral fault cutting across the ridge led to sediment collapse and the creation of a prominent embayment on the ridgeâ€™s northwest flank. Deformation is more subdued in the western than in the eastern part of the Alboran Basin, a tectonic style due either to differences in sediment rheology or that the accommodation of the convergence of Africa and Iberia is more diffused and attenuated in the west than in the east.
Resumen: The recovery of calcareous breccia and other carbonate-cemented rocks from Mont dels Oliva in the Balearic Promontory indicates that both this seamount and the adjacent Mont Ausias Marc, east of Ibiza and Formentera islands, are of continental origin. Recent multibeam echosounder mapping and high-resolution seismic reflection profiles indicate
that the third high, Emile Baudot Seamount, is located within a field of more than 118 pinnacles. Based on their magnetic signature and the recovery of basalt in the vicinity of the pinnacles suggest that the features are of volcanic origin. A basalt sample dredged from Emile Baudot Seamount indicates an igneous origin for this seamount. The limited sampling, the chemistry of the rock recovered and the size of the seamount itself (18 by 3 km), however, does not preclude the possibility that Emile Baudot may be a fractured uplifted continental block intruded by the basalt. The K/Ar age of 1.46ñ0.18 my yielded by the basalt sample verifies the earlier proposal by Acosta et al. (Mar. Pet. Geol. 128 (2001a) 349) that the volcanism that created part or all of Emile Baudot Seamount and the Southwest Majorca Volcanic Field associated with the seamount took place in the Pleistocene. This volcanism is probably related to decompression resulting from the normal faulting that led to the subsidence of the low (Central Depression) between Ibiza and Majorca (Balearic Islands).