ALPINE TECTONICS AND ROTATION POLE EVOLUTION OF IBERIA
(Choukroune et al., 1986) at higher crustal levels,this thrusting clearly bearing no relationship toplate motion vectors. Relatively large finite dis-placements and rotations during such a stage willdisturb the original pattern of older stretchinglineations formed at deeper levels. The easternpart of the Betic Cordilleras does not demonstratean arcuate form, and therefore no pervasive re-orientation of older structures is to be expected.Palaeostress analyses in stable forelands do notusually suffer the disadvantage of reorientation, asfinite strain is in general small. A clear relation-ship between (successive) palaeostress directionsand plate motion vectors is therefore recorded inthe Alpine foreland (Letouzey, 1986; Bergerat,1987). However, in Iberia the Mesozoic palaeos-tress directions do not mimic the plate vector veryaccurately (Malod, 1989). This is partly the resultof reorientation and heterogeneities induced bypre-existing faults. Therefore, the regionally con-sistent stretching lineations in the Internal Zoneare considered as an important constraint in theearly kinematic evolution of the Iberian plate.Motions around different rotation pole positionsduring orogeny will, due to overprinting and re-orientation, not be recorded by successive genera-tions of stretching lineations. Shifting of rotationpoles has, however, a marked effect on tectonics inmetamorphic belts, as will be discussed later.
Evolution of the tectonic zones bordering Iberia
The Alpine collision belts bordering Iberia arecharacterized by Jurassic to Early Cretaceous ex-tensional deformation and related strike-slip de-formation. A Middle to Late Jurassic strike-slipfault between Iberia-Africa is indicated by platereconstructions (Savostin et al., 1986; Klitgordand Schouten, 1986). The occurrence of a frag-ment of an ophiolite sequence of Late Jurassic agein northern Africa (Bouillin et al., 1977) accordswith these reconstructions. Continuing motion intothe Cretaceous is indicated by flysch depositsculminating in Aptian-Albian times in the FlyschDomain (Bouillin et al., 1986). The non-metamor-phic External Zones of Iberia and northern Africaare palaeogeographically unrelated (Bouillin et al.,1986) this also indicating their initial separation.In the External Zone of the Betic Cordilleras analgal platform broke up at the Middle to LateJurassic boundary (Geel, 1979) resulting in strongpalaeogeographical differentiation (Hermes, 1978).An extensional tectonic regime is indicated bypillow basalt intrusions in the Sub-Betic (Hermes,1978; De Smet, 1984). Important hiatuses, turbi-dite deposits and the occurrence of Middle Jurassiclithoclasts in Albian-Aptian marls (Hermes, 1978)indicate important vertical motions continuing intothe Cretaceous. Basaltic intrusion in the InternalZone of the Betics is of Jurassic age (146 + 3 Ma,Rb/Sr age, Hebeda et al., 1980; 200 f 5 Ma,K/Ar biotite age, Besems and Simon, 1982).At the northern boundary of Iberia, in thefuture Pyrenees, carbonate platform breakup oc-curred in the Early to Middle Jurassic(Puigdefabregas and Souquet, 1986). At the north-western margin of Iberia, Late Jurassic riftingpossibly occurred; important rifting started in theBerriasian to earliest Valanginian (144-140 Ma,Boillot et al., 1989). The end of emplacement ofultramafic rocks by ductile normal faulting hasbeen dated at 122 f 0.6 Ma (Feraud et al., 1988).Final emplacement by brittle deformation oc-curred before the late Aptian breakup unconfor-mity (around 115 Ma), which marks the onset ofseafloor spreading (Boillot and Malod, 1988; Boil-lot et al., 1989; Malod, 1989). Opening of the Bayof Biscay occurred between the Aptian andCampanian and induced several hundred kilo-metres of strike-slip on the North Pyrenean Fault(Le Pichon et al., 1971; Choukroune and Mat-tauer, 1978; Savostin et al., 1986; Srivastava andTapscott, 1986; Klitgord and Schouten, 1986;Boillot and Malod, 1988; Malod, 1989). Deforma-tion coincided with a general change in the sedi-mentation pattern in Aptian times (Souquet et al.,1985) and Pyrenean magmatism and metamor-phism between 110 and 85 Ma (Albarede andMichard-Vitrac, 1978; Montigny et al., 1986).During this period the North Pyrenean Fault zonewas characterized by high heat flow in response tocrustal thinning related to strike-slip tectonics(Choukroune and Mattauer, 1978; Vielzeuf andKornprobst, 1984; Golberg et al., 1986). EarlyCretaceous metamorphic ages are also well re-corded by the 4oAr-39Ar stepwise heating method