Evaluating balanced section restoration with thermochronology data: A case study from the Central Pyrenees
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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We present a new method that can be used to quantitatively evaluate the consistency between balanced section restorations and thermochronological data sets from orogenic belts. We have applied our method to a crustal-scale area-balanced cross-section restoration along a profile in the Central Pyrenees. This restoration is well constrained and supported by a wide variety of geological and geophysical data. Moreover, an extensive thermochronological data set has been collected independently in the area. We use the structural-kinematic software 2D-Move™ to constrain a set of velocity fields that describes the kinematics of the Central Pyrenees. Using these velocity fields as input for the thermokinematic code PECUBE, we derive predictions of the thermal history and a range of thermochronometric ages for the modeled area. We find that the kinematic history of the belt as inferred from section balancing is in good agreement with the published thermochronological data. High-temperature (zircon fission-track and K-feldspar Ar-Ar) data constrain the thermal structure of the belt as well as the timing of underplating. Low-temperature (apatite fission-track and (U-Th)/He) data require late synorogenic sedimentary burial of the southern flank of the Pyrenees between late Eocene (40 Ma) to late Miocene (9 Ma) times, consistent with previous studies, and imply that no such burial occurred on the northern flank.