Sorbas basin

Sorbas basin

The Sorbas basin is a sedimentary basin around the town of Sorbas in south-east Spain. It is believed to have been formed by extension, between two fault-bounded blocks which rotated anti-clockwise to take up the compression resulting from Europe's collison with Africa. It is filled with turbidites and evaporites dating the the Tortonian-Messinian.

It is a matter of some debate whether the basin dried out at the same time as the main Mediterranean basins.cite journal
author = Riding, R.
coauthors = Braga, J.C.; Marti´n, J.M.
year = 2000
title = Late Miocene Mediterranean desiccation: topography and significance of the ‘Salinity Crisis’ erosion surface on-land in southeast Spain: Reply
journal = Sedimentary Geology
volume = 133
issue = 3-4
pages = 175–184
doi = 10.1016/S0037-0738(00)00039-7
] cite journal
author = Braga, J.C.
coauthors = Martín, J.M.; Riding, R.; Aguirre, J.; Sánchez-almazo, I.M.; Dinarès-turell, J.
year = 2006
title = Testing models for the Messinian salinity crisis: The Messinian record in Almería, SE Spain
journal = Sedimentary Geology
volume = 188
pages = 131–154
doi = 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2006.03.002
] cite journal
author = Krijgsman, W.
coauthors = Fortuin, A.R.; Hilgen, F.J.; Sierro, F.J.
year = 2001
title = Astrochronology for the Messinian Sorbas basin (SE Spain) and orbital (precessional) forcing for evaporite cyclicity
journal = Sedimentary Geology
volume = 140
issue = 1-2
pages = 43–60
doi = 10.1016/S0037-0738(00)00171-8

Basin fill

The basin, pictured above, is divided into the following members:
* At the bottom of the image, the house is constructed on the steep yellow cliffs of the resistant Azagador member.
* The lower (whiter) and upper (yellower) Abad marls, a Tortonian/Messinian series of turbidites featuring pronounced Milankovic (20,000 year precession) cyclicity, allowing chronostratigraphic dating; these fine muds are easily eroded and form v topography.
* the Messinian Yesares member, a gypsum evaproite, forming the steep wict|buff wict|bluffs at the top of the valley; there is some debate about how conformable its contact with the Abad marls is.
* Pliocene deposits, resting unconformably on the top.

Basin significance

*Red = current coastline
*S = Sorbas basin, Spain

*R = Rifean corridor
*B = Betic corridor
*G = Strait of Gibraltar
*M = Mediterranean sea

The basin was separated from the main Mediterranean basin during the Messinian salinity crisis; therefore the timing of the Yesares member relative to the main basin evaproites is crucial to distinguish between models of how the Mediterranean dried out.


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