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The Valais units in Savoy (France): a key area for understanding the palaeogeography and the tectonic evolution of the Western Alps

Loprieno, A. and Bousquet, R. and Bucher, S. and Ceriani, S. and Dalla Torre, F. H. and Fügenschuh, B. and Schmid, Stefan M.. (2011) The Valais units in Savoy (France): a key area for understanding the palaeogeography and the tectonic evolution of the Western Alps. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 100 (5). pp. 963-992.

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Abstract

The Valais units in Savoy (Zone des Bre`ches de Tarentaise) have been re-mapped in great detail and are subject of combined stratigraphic, structural and petrological investigations summarized in this contribution. The sedimentsand rare relics of basement, together with Cretaceous age mafic and ultramafic rocks of the Valais palaeogeographical domain, represent the heavily deformed relics of the former distal European margin (External Valais units) and an ocean–continent transition (Internal Valais unit orVersoyen unit) that formed during rifting. This rifting led to the opening of the Valais ocean, a northern branch of the Alpine Tethys. Post-rift sediments referred to as ‘‘Valais trilogy’’ stratigraphically overlie both External and Internal Valais successions above an angular unconformity formed inBarremian to Aptian times, providing robust evidence for the timing of the opening of the Valais ocean. The Valais units in Savoy are part of a second and more external mid-Eocene high-pressure belt in the Alps that sutured the Brianc¸onnaismicrocontinent to Europe. Top-N D1-deformation led to theformation of a nappe stack that emplaced the largely eclogite- facies Internal Valais unit (Versoyen) onto blueschistfacies External Valais units. The latter originally consisted of, from internal to external, the Petit St. Bernard unit, the Roc de l’Enfer unit, theMouˆtiers unit and the Quermoz unit. Ongoing top-N D2-thrusting and folding substantially modified this nappe stack. Post 35 Ma D3 folding led to relatively minor modifications of the nappe stack within the Valais units but was associated with substantial top-WNW thrusting of the Valais units over the Dauphinois units along the Roselend thrust during W-directed indentation of the Adria block contributing to the formation of the arc of the Western Alps.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geologie-Paläontologie > Tektonik (nn)
UniBasel Contributors:Schmid, Stefan M.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Springer-Verlag
ISSN:1437-3254
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:20 Sep 2017 14:24
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 07:13

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