Detailed geological mapping combined with micro-structural and petrological investigation allowed to clarify the tectono-metamorphic relationships between continental and oceanic units transition in the Penninic domain of the Western Alps. The three study areas (Gressoney, Orco and Susa sections) take into consideration the same structural level across the axial metamorphic belt of the Western Italian Alps, i.e., a geological section across the Internal Crystalline Massifs vs Piedmont Zone boundary. The units outcropping in these areas can be grouped into two Tectonic Elements according to their tectono-metamorphic evolution. The Lower Tectonic Element (LTE) consists of the Internal Crystalline Massifs and the Lower Piedmont Zone (Zermatt–Saas like units), both showing well preserved eclogite facies relics. Instead, the Upper Tectonic Element (UTE) consists of the Upper Piedmont Zone (Combin like units) lacking evidence of eclogite facies relics. In the Lower Tectonic Element two main Alpine tectono-metamorphic stages were identified: M1/D1 developed under eclogite facies conditions and M2/D2 is related to the development of the regional foliation under greenschist to epidote-albite amphibolite facies conditions. In the Upper Tectonic Element the metamorphic stage M1/D1 developed under bluschist to greenschist facies conditions and M2/D2 stage under greenschist facies conditions. These two Tectonic Elements are separated by a tectonic contact of regional importance generally developed along the boundary between the Lower and the Upper Piedmont zone under greenschist facies conditions. PT data compared to geochronology indicate that the first exhumation of ICM can be explained by buoyancy forces acting along the subduction channel that occurred during the tectonic coupling between the continental and oceanic eclogite units. These buoyancy forces vanished at the base of the crust where the density difference between the subducted crustal units and the surroundings rocks is too low. A stage where compression prevails on the previous exhumation followed, which leads to the development of the regional foliation under greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic conditions. Further exhumation occurred after the M2/D2 stage at shallower crustal levels along conjugated shear zones leading to the development of a composite axial dome consisting of eclogite-bearing continental-oceanic units (ICM and Zermatt–Saas Zones) beneath greenschist ones (Combin Zone).

Review of metamorphic and kinematic data from Internal Crystalline Massifs (Western Alps): PTt paths and exhumation history

GASCO, Ivano;GATTIGLIO, Marco;BORGHI, Alessandro
2013

Abstract

Detailed geological mapping combined with micro-structural and petrological investigation allowed to clarify the tectono-metamorphic relationships between continental and oceanic units transition in the Penninic domain of the Western Alps. The three study areas (Gressoney, Orco and Susa sections) take into consideration the same structural level across the axial metamorphic belt of the Western Italian Alps, i.e., a geological section across the Internal Crystalline Massifs vs Piedmont Zone boundary. The units outcropping in these areas can be grouped into two Tectonic Elements according to their tectono-metamorphic evolution. The Lower Tectonic Element (LTE) consists of the Internal Crystalline Massifs and the Lower Piedmont Zone (Zermatt–Saas like units), both showing well preserved eclogite facies relics. Instead, the Upper Tectonic Element (UTE) consists of the Upper Piedmont Zone (Combin like units) lacking evidence of eclogite facies relics. In the Lower Tectonic Element two main Alpine tectono-metamorphic stages were identified: M1/D1 developed under eclogite facies conditions and M2/D2 is related to the development of the regional foliation under greenschist to epidote-albite amphibolite facies conditions. In the Upper Tectonic Element the metamorphic stage M1/D1 developed under bluschist to greenschist facies conditions and M2/D2 stage under greenschist facies conditions. These two Tectonic Elements are separated by a tectonic contact of regional importance generally developed along the boundary between the Lower and the Upper Piedmont zone under greenschist facies conditions. PT data compared to geochronology indicate that the first exhumation of ICM can be explained by buoyancy forces acting along the subduction channel that occurred during the tectonic coupling between the continental and oceanic eclogite units. These buoyancy forces vanished at the base of the crust where the density difference between the subducted crustal units and the surroundings rocks is too low. A stage where compression prevails on the previous exhumation followed, which leads to the development of the regional foliation under greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphic conditions. Further exhumation occurred after the M2/D2 stage at shallower crustal levels along conjugated shear zones leading to the development of a composite axial dome consisting of eclogite-bearing continental-oceanic units (ICM and Zermatt–Saas Zones) beneath greenschist ones (Combin Zone).
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http://file:///C|/Documents%20and%20Settings/alessandro/Documenti/ATESTI/gasco/sintesi/dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jog.2012.09.006
Gasco I.; Gattiglio M.; Borghi A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/126255
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