Geological Society of London
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Magnetotelluric characterization of a salt diapir: a case study on Bicorb–Quesa Diapir (Prebetic Zone, SE Spain)

posted on 2016-06-21, 12:20 authored by M. Rubinat, J. Ledo, E. Roca, O. Rosell, P. Queralt

The availability of geophysical data to determine the geometry at depth of a salt diapir and its surrounding structure is essential because of the complexity and changing geometry of these structures. For this purpose, potential field methods are commonly the first steps in subsurface exploration whereas seismic techniques are applied in later stages. However, the magnetotelluric method (MT) may fill the gap between the precision and the time that these two methods entail. To prove the usefulness of the MT method, it has been applied to the Bicorb–Quesa Diapir. This diapir is composed of evaporitic rocks piercing an overburden of carbonate rocks, providing a wide and contrasting range of electrical resistivity values. In this situation, the MT method may provide a coherent and realistic image of the subsurface. The application of the MT method has allowed us to (1) recognize a basement fault with a vertical throw of 1000 m, (2) elucidate the shape of the diapir, which is asymmetrical, with a north wall vertical and south wall dipping southwards, and (3) determine that all of the Late Triassic salt is concentrated in the diapir core.


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