PYRENEAN Challenge

Modeling the Pyrenean Orogenic Belt

In 2021, we inaugurated the first edition of a hopefully yearly challenge for the Master’s degree students interested in analog modeling. Objective?

Simulate the construction of the Pyrenean mountain belt ;-> !

<- The 2021 Master Thesis students at work: Damien Marion, Maxime Jamet, Youcef Amrane

Over the years, the Pyrenees have generated numerous controversies due to their specific geological and geophysical characteristics and their occurrence in a highly debated plate kinematic framework. The uncertainties on the size of the crustal root, along with the occurrence of an HT–BP metamorphic belt and numerous bodies of mantle peridotites made the interpretation of the initiation and formation of this orogen particularly challenging (Lagabrielle et al., 2016).

Recent understandings of the tectonic evolution of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian belt respond to the application of geological concepts of modern continental margins and hyperextension and have had strong implications for the reconstruction of the pre-orogenic configuration. Models for the evolution of the Pyrenean orogeny must consider the feedback between a Cretaceous hyperextension leading to the Pyrenean-Bay of Biscay rift and the late Santonian to early Miocene compressional inversion (Teixell et al., 2018).

In June 2021, we started a yearly Challenge, supervised by S. Dominguez, P. Labaume, R. Soliva, involving our Master students. Objectives are to let the students define the initial stage, boundary conditions and develop their own analog modeling of the Pyrenean orogeny. These are good opportunities to discuss many related topics such as rheology, deformation mechanisms, plate tectonic geodynamics, and interactions between Tectonics, and surface processes (Erosion, sedimentation, climate).

The next generation of students will use previous results to improve the modeling. It’s time for the next team to take on the challenge!

General comment on the 2021 experiment: This experiment was a great success considering it was the first ;-> ! The tectonic inversion of the rifted domains and the formation of an antiformal stack were certainly the most interesting features to have developed.

Modeling the Pyrenean Orogenic Belt

In 2023, a new generation of Master’s degree students performed a beautiful 2D experiment.

<- The 2023 Master Thesis students at work: Xxxxx, xxxx, xxxx

##### This POST is being updated – March 2023 ############

Useful references:

##### Rajouter les 2 publications de JOURDON ##### + le papier de M. FORD ???

-> Lagabrielle, Yves & de Saint Blanquat, Michel & Godard, Marguerite. (2016). From rifting to mountain building: The Pyrenean Belt, Comptes Rendus Geoscience. 348. 169-171. 10.1016/j.crte.2016.04.002. -> PDF

-> A. Teixell, P. Labaume, P. Ayarza, N. Espurt, M. de Saint Blanquat, Y. Lagabrielle, 2018. Crustal structure and evolution of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian belt: A review and new interpretations from recent concepts and data, Tectonophysics, Volumes 724–725, Pages 146-170, ISSN 0040-1951, -> PDF

-> Laurent Jolivet, Adrien Romagny, Christian Gorini, Agnès Maillard, Isabelle Thinon, Renaud Couëffé, Maxime Ducoux, Michel Séranne, 2020. Fast dismantling of a mountain belt by mantle flow: Late-orogenic evolution of Pyrenees and Liguro-Provençal rifting, Tectonophysics, Volume 776, 228312, ISSN 0040-1951, -> PDF