Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic systematics of crustal rocks from the western Betics (S. Spain)

implications for crustal recycling in the lithospheric mantle beneath the westernmost Mediterranean

María Isabel Varas-Reus*, Carlos J. Garrido, Claudio Marchesi, Delphine Bosch, Antonio Acosta-Vigil, Károly Hidas, Amel Barich, Guillermo Booth-Rea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


We present new Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data of the western Alpujárride metamorphic basement and the pre-Miocene Flysch sediments of the Betic Cordillera (southern Spain). Nd model ages are consistent with an increasing detrital input from the Alborán domain to the Flysch Trough in the western Mediterranean during the late Oligocene. The Alpujárride metamorphic crustal rocks derived from Archean-Paleoproterozoic terranes located along the northern margin of Gondwana in the Neoproterozoic. The heterogeneous isotopic signatures of the Alpujárride units indicate that they have different sedimentary protoliths and underwent contrasted Variscan and pre-Variscan tectono-magmatic evolutions. Melts/fluids derived from the western Alpujárride gneisses contaminated the mantle source of the Ronda high-Mg pyroxenite dykes, implying that the Alpujárride lower crust underthrusted the subcontinental lithospheric mantle of the Alborán domain generating subduction-like magmatism in the late Oligocene. The western Alpujárride upper crust is involved in the Neogene volcanism of the Alborán Sea basin, but only contaminated some LREE-enriched calc-alkaline lavas erupted along the continental margins. On the other hand, tholeiitic lavas in the center of the basin show no isotopic evidence of crustal assimilation. This indicates that most of the crust in the central Alborán Sea accreted by Miocene tholeiitic magmatism and that Alpujárride lower crust is absent and likely foundered close to the continental margins of the basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-61
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Sr-Nd-Pb radiogenic isotopes
  • Nd model age
  • Westernmost Mediterranean
  • Ronda peridotite

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