Exhumation of the Sierra de Cameros (Iberian Range, Spain): constraints from low-temperature thermochronology
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DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra
We present new fission-track and (U–Th)/He data from apatite and zircon in order to reconstruct the exhumation of the Sierra de Cameros, in the northwestern part of Iberian Range, Spain. Zircon fission-track ages from samples from the depocentre of the basin were reset during the metamorphic peak at approximately 100 Ma. Detrital apatites from the uppermost sediments retain fission-track age information that is older than the sediment deposition age, indicating that these rocks have not exceeded 110 8C. Apatites from deeper in the stratigraphic sequence of the central part of the basin have fission-track ages of around 40 Ma, significantly younger than the stratigraphic age, recording the time of cooling after peak metamorphic conditions. Apatite (U–Th)/He ages in samples from these sediments are 31–40 Ma and record the last period of cooling during Alpine compression. The modelled thermal history derived from the uppermost sediments indicates that the thermal pulse associated with peak metamorphism was rapid, and that the region has cooled continuously to the present. The estimated palaeogeothermal gradient is around 86 8C km21 and supports a tectonic model with a thick sedimentary fill (c. 8 km) and explains the origin of the low-grade metamorphism observed in the oldest sediments.