Dating deformation in the Gran Paradiso Massif (NW Italian Alps): implications for the exhumation of high-pressure rocks in a collisional belt

Rosenbaum, Gideon, Menegon, Luca, Glodny, Johannes, Vasconcelos, Paulo, Ring, Uwe, Massironi, Matteo, Thiede, David and Nasipuri, Pritam (2012) Dating deformation in the Gran Paradiso Massif (NW Italian Alps): implications for the exhumation of high-pressure rocks in a collisional belt. Lithos, 144-145 130-144. doi:10.1016/j.lithos.2012.04.016


Author Rosenbaum, Gideon
Menegon, Luca
Glodny, Johannes
Vasconcelos, Paulo
Ring, Uwe
Massironi, Matteo
Thiede, David
Nasipuri, Pritam
Title Dating deformation in the Gran Paradiso Massif (NW Italian Alps): implications for the exhumation of high-pressure rocks in a collisional belt
Journal name Lithos   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0024-4937
1872-6143
Publication date 2012-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.lithos.2012.04.016
Volume 144-145
Start page 130
End page 144
Total pages 15
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The Gran Paradiso massif, situated in the internal part of the Western Italian Alps, records a complex tectono-metamorphic history involving high-pressure metamorphism and subsequent exhumation during retrograde metamorphism. The exact timing of deformation and, consequently, the geodynamic evolution of this part of the Western Alps is still debated and is addressed here by the application of Rb/Sr geochronology, 40Ar/39Ar step heating and 40Ar/39Ar total fusion dating techniques. Geochronological results are presented from shear zone samples in the core of the Gran Paradiso massif (Piantonetto Valley), and in the area closer to the contact with the overlying Piedmont ophiolitic domain (south and southwest of Pont Valsavarenche). The shear zones operated during crustal thinning and exhumation of the Gran Paradiso massif. 40Ar/39Ar step heating results from shear zones in the Piantonetto Valley show acceptable plateau ages that are interpreted to represent two events of mica growth. Similar ages, and an additional younger age cluster, are recognised in the 40Ar/39Ar total fusion analyses, indicating that specific cleavage domains operated at 39.2 ± 0.2, 36.5 ± 0.6 and 33.3 ± 0.4 Ma. P–T pseudosections show a progressive decrease in metamorphic conditions during deformation, suggesting that the age of incipient exhumation and the related deformation in the Piantonetto Valley is equal to or older than 39.2 ± 0.2 Ma. In the Pont area, the last increments of deformation in a top-to-W shear zone postdate 36.6 ± 0.6 Ma (Rb/Sr mineral data), whereas the present-day top-to-W contact of the Gran Paradiso massif with the overlying Piedmont domain is dated at 41.2 ± 1.1 Ma (Rb/Sr multi-mineral isochron age). We propose a model that considers exhumation of the Gran Paradiso nappe at 41–34 Ma. During this period, the nappe was coupled with the Zermatt-Saas zone, forming an extruding wedge. The kinematics associated with this wedge involved top-to-W shearing within the Gran Paradiso nappe (e.g. Pont area shear zones) and top-to-E shearing at the top of the extruding wedge (e.g. Orco shear zone). Subsequent deformation (after ~ 34 Ma) was characterised by coaxial strain involving orogenic-scale backfolding and backthrusting.
Keyword Western Alps
Gran Paradiso Massif
Ar-Ar
Rb-Sr
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2013 Collection
 
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