Faculté des sciences

The Variscan evolution in the External massifs of the Alps and place in their Variscan framework

Raumer, Jürgen F. von ; Bussy, François ; Stampfli, Gérard M.

In: Comptes Rendus Geosciences, 2009, vol. 341, no. 2-3, p. 239-252

In the general discussion on the Variscan evolution of central Europe the pre-Mesozoic basement of the Alps is, in many cases, only included with hesitation. Relatively well-preserved from Alpine metamorphism, the Alpine External massifs can serve as an excellent example of evolution of the Variscan basement, including the earliest Gondwana-derived microcontinents with Cadomian relics. Testifying... Plus

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    Summary
    In the general discussion on the Variscan evolution of central Europe the pre-Mesozoic basement of the Alps is, in many cases, only included with hesitation. Relatively well-preserved from Alpine metamorphism, the Alpine External massifs can serve as an excellent example of evolution of the Variscan basement, including the earliest Gondwana-derived microcontinents with Cadomian relics. Testifying to the evolution at the Gondwana margin, at least since the Cambrian, such pieces took part in the birth of the Rheic Ocean. After the separation of Avalonia, the remaining Gondwana border was continuously transformed through crustal extension with contemporaneous separation of continental blocks composing future Pangea, but the opening of Palaeotethys had only a reduced significance since the Devonian. The Variscan evolution in the External domain is characterised by an early HP-evolution with subsequent granulitic decompression melts. During Visean crustal shortening, the areas of future formation of migmatites and intrusion of monzodioritic magmas in a general strike–slip regime, were probably in a lower plate situation, whereas the so called monometamorphic areas may have been in an upper plate position of the nappe pile. During the Latest Carboniferous, the emplacement of the youngest granites was associated with the strike–slip faulting and crustal extension at lower crustal levels, whereas, at the surface, detrital sediments accumulated in intramontaneous transtensional basins on a strongly eroded surface.