Low-temperature constraints on the Cenozoic thermal evolution of the Southern Rhodope Core Complex (Northern Greece)

Kounov, Alexandre ; Wüthrich, Eliane ; Seward, Diane ; Burg, Jean-Pierre ; Stockli, Daniel

In: International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2015, vol. 104, no. 5, p. 1337-1352

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    The South Rhodope Core Complex (SRCC) of Northern Greece is probably the most studied metamorphic core complex of the Rhodope Massif, and yet its geological evolution has not yet been fully unravelled, especially the later stages of its thermotectonic evolution. We applied the fission-track method on apatite and zircon and the [U-Th-(Sm)]/He method on apatite in order to reconstruct the low-temperature thermal history. The main detachments responsible for the unroofing of the core complex are the Kerdilion and the Strymon Valley detachments. The Kerdilion detachment initiated the exhumation of the SRCC at the latest at 42Ma and controlled it until about 24Ma. Between 24 and 12Ma, the Strymon Valley detachment accommodated the exhumation. Since 12Ma brittle normal faults, some of them cutting the Strymon Valley detachment were responsible for the final cooling of the basement rocks in the studied area and the formation of syn-tectonic sedimentary basins. Activity along these brittle normal faults lasted until 6Ma or probably even until today, as indicated by recent seismic activity in the area.