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Thermochronometry across the Austroalpine-Pennine boundary, Central Alps, Switzerland: Orogen-perpendicular normal fault slip on a major ‘overthrust’ and its implications for orogenesis

Price, Jason B. and Wernicke, Brian P. and Cosca, Michael A. and Farley, Kenneth A. (2018) Thermochronometry across the Austroalpine-Pennine boundary, Central Alps, Switzerland: Orogen-perpendicular normal fault slip on a major ‘overthrust’ and its implications for orogenesis. Tectonics, 37 (3). pp. 724-757. ISSN 0278-7407. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20171214-105427229

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Abstract

Fifty-one new and 309 published thermochronometric ages (nine systems with closure temperatures ranging from ~450 to 70°C) from the Graubünden region of the Central Alps demonstrate that a pronounced thermal mismatch between the Austroalpine allochthon (Alpine “orogenic lid”) and the Pennine zone persisted until at least 29 Ma and, allowably, until circa 18 Ma. The observed mismatch supports previous suggestions that the famous “overthrust” between the Austroalpine allochthon and the Pennine zone, historically regarded as primarily an Eocene top-north thrust fault, is in fact primarily an Oligocene-Miocene normal fault that has a minimum of 60 km of displacement with top-south or top-southeast sense of shear. Two hallmarks of Alpine geology, deposition of the foredeep Molasse and emplacement of the Helvetic nappes, appear to be coeval, peripheral manifestations of crustal thickening via the interposition of the Pennine zone as a northward intruding wedge between the Austroalpine “lid” and the European cratonic margin, with the Helvetic system (European margin) acting as the “floor” of the wedge. We presume the Penninic wedge is driven by the buoyant rise of subducted crust no longer able to remain attached to the descending slab. If so, emplacement of the Pennine wedge could have occurred mainly after Adria was juxtaposed against cratonic Europe.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1002/2017TC004619DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017TC004619/abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Price, Jason B.0000-0001-9865-603X
Wernicke, Brian P.0000-0002-7659-8358
Farley, Kenneth A.0000-0002-7846-7546
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFEAR-1451055
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171214-105427229
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20171214-105427229
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83921
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Dec 2017 19:53
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:12

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