Evolution and hydrocarbons of the Aquitaine basin (France) and the Pyrenees

Category Sedimentology
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Bourrouilh, Robert
Holding Date 11 October 2008

Before the Jurassic break-up of the Pangea, the Aquitaine basin extended from the Newfoundland margins to the future Western Alps. The Jurassic break-up progressed along the North Atlantic and a triple junction point formed at the entrance of the Bay of Biscay.
From Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous, the Bay of Biscay opened in a Californian mode, allowing first the birth and development of pull-apart basins and then the merger of an Upper Cretaceous flysch furrow.
But, circa 120 My, as the Atlantic Ocean opened between Africa and South America, Africa was now moving to the NW, progressively crushing the Iberian plate. Then the Pyrenean orogeny was on, from the early Upper Cretaceous to the Miocene and an asymetrical thrust and fold belt developped.
Jurassic and more recent Hydrocarbons formed in the whole Aquitaine basin and migrated towards stratigraphical, diapiric and structural traps. A general frame of the evolution of the Pyrenees and Western Mediterranean is given.