Palaeoenvironments of the Late Miocene Prüedo Basin: implications for the uplift of the Central Pyrenees

<p>The nature, structure and extent of a palaeo-basin sedimentary infill exposed in the Aran valley (Central Pyrenees) was studied by combining stratigraphical and biostratigraphical analyses and an audio-magnetotelluric survey. The basin developed on top of a pre-existing peneplain and was formed by the North Maladeta Fault activity. The fluvio-palustrine sequence filling the basin was at least 100 m thick. Specimens of the taxon <em>Hippuris</em> cf. <em>parvicarpa</em> Nikitin were identified for the first time in a European palaeoflora. The palynological and carpological analyses allowed us to (1) constrain the age of the basin infill as Vallesian (11.1–8.7 Ma), (2) characterize the vegetation of the belt surrounding the basin as a mainly temperate to warm-temperate assemblage, and (3) estimate the palaeoaltitude of the site at between 700 and 1000 m, which leads to an altitude change of 900–1200 m for the North Maladeta Fault downthrown block and 1640–1640 m for the upthrown block. These data allowed us to estimate the regional uplift of the area at between 0.08 and 0.19 mm a<sup>−1</sup>. The different exhumation values obtained by other researchers for sites located at both sides of the North Maladeta Fault are in agreement with its activity as a normal fault since the Late Miocene. </p>