Tabernas Basin Overview


The Tabernas fan complex is a relatively small feature compared to the broad range of ancient and modern fans reviewed by Barnes and Normark (1985) from different structural settings. Basin development has been controlled by the convergence of the African and Iberian plates to produce an east-west oriented basin measuring not less than 12 x 28 km (7.5 x 17.5 mi). Sediment supply was mainly from the northern basin margin (the Sierra los Filabres) through north-south oriented channels. Three main feeder systems and two corresponding lobes have been identified:

I. Sand-Rich TurbiditeSystem

II. Mixed Sand/Mud TurbiditeSystem

III. Solitary Channel System

Each can be mapped from the base of slope lobes south and west of the village of Tabernas to feeder systems and contemporaneous basin margin facies to the west and north. The sand-rich system (I) is fed by an almost straight channel, which terminates in an accumulation of stacked sand-filled scours. These stacked scours have fining-upward fills of pebbly to coarse sandstone and combine to form a 6 km (4 mi) wide lobe. In the adjacent mixed sand/mud system (II), the straight feeder channels bifurcate into multiple channels to form a lobe of medium- to thin bedded, graded sandstones more than 10 km (6 mi) wide. The solitary system (III) comprises a slightly sinuous complex of channels which extends basinwards of the other systems and can be traced for more than than 8 km (5 mi).

The evolution of these three systems was controlled by initial basin floor relief and depositional processes which created morphology. It was suggested by Kleverlaan (1989) that the sand-rich system accumulated at the mouth of a pre-existing basement valley. Clogging of the valley caused instability and scouring of slope muds. Development of new channels, and incorporation of eroded slope muds, led to the formation of a mixed sand/mud system

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