European Science Foundation TopoEurope Project PYRTEC: Spatial and temporal coupling between tectonics and surface processes during lithosphere inversion of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian mountain belt

Student Zoltan Erdos

Supervisors: Prof. Ritske S. Huismans, Prof. Haakon Fossen (Bergen University), Prof. Peter van der Beek (Grenoble University)

Funding: NFR, Statoil, CNRS, Oviedo Gov.

External collaborators: Prof. Roy Gabrielsen (UiO), Dr David Pedreira (Oviedo Univ), Prof. Peter van der Beek (Grenoble Univ.), Dr Ronald van Balen (Free Univ.), Prof. Josep Anton Munoz (Barcelona Univ.), Prof. Gianreto Manatschal (Strassbourg Univ.), Dr Hugh Sinclair (Edinburgh Univ.)

More information: http://pyrtec.uib.no

The project PYRTEC studies interaction between surface processes, climate, and tectonic deformation during mountain building in the Pyrenean-Cantabrian belt. The Pyrenean mountain range was formed as a result of inversion of a pre-existing extensional sedimentary basin; a continental rift basin in the future Pyrenean range, and an ocean basin, the Bay of Biscay, to the west. Subsequently collision between the Iberian and European plates resulted in mountain building in the Pyrenees and passive margin inversion in the Cantabrian area. Surface processes shaped mountain range topography associated with collision and resulted in variable amounts of erosion and erosional products were deposited in foreland basins to the north and south. Whereas large amounts of material were removed in the Pyrenees, only minor erosion took place in the Cantabrian mountain range. Although operating at vastly different time and length scales, a significant potential exists for feedback between large scale tectonic deformation and redistribution of mass on the surface by erosion and re-deposition. The project involves collaboration between partners in Norway, Spain, France, Netherlands, and the UK and will use a multidisciplinary approach involving field based studies, regional data compilation, geochronology, and quantitative modeling approaches that will couple tectonic and surface process models.