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Terra Nova 18 (2006) 412-422
A crustal-scale cross-section of the south-western Alps combining geophysical and geological imagery
Jean-Marc Lardeaux 1, Stéphane Schwartz 2, Pierre Tricart 3, Anne Paul 2, Stéphane Guillot 3, Nicole Béthoux 1, Frédéric Masson 4

A geotransect from the Pelvoux Massif (external French Alps) to the Dora-Maira massif (internal Italian Alps), through the Monviso ophiolitic complex was investigated in the framework of a geological and geophysical imagery program of the continental crust: “Géo-France 3D Alpes”. In this paper we present and discuss a new interpretative crustal-scale cross section of the southwestern Alps by combining various geological and geophysical 2D/3D sources. The Apulian mantle (i.e. the Ivrea body) should be divided in two different rigid pieces separated by the prolongation, in depth, of the Penninic Front. These two mantle indenters drive the decoupling of the European crust. The deep crustal architecture is characterized by the stacking, beneath the high- to ultra high-pressure metamorphic nappes, of crustal slices extracted from the European lithosphere. The proposed structural model allows discussing the significance of the crustal-scale partitioning of the present-day strain pattern as well as the significance of the regional seismicity.
1:  Géoazur (GEOAZUR)
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS) – CNRS : UMR6526 – Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] – Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur – INSU – Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) - Paris VI
2:  Laboratoire de géophysique interne et tectonophysique (LGIT)
CNRS : UMR5559 – Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] – LCPC – OSUG – INSU – Université de Savoie – Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble I
3:  Laboratoire de géodynamique des chaines alpines (LGCA)
CNRS : UMR5025 – OSUG – INSU – Université de Savoie – Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble I
4:  Institut des Sciences de la Terre, de l'Environnement et de l'Espace de Montpellier (ISTEEM)
CNRS : FR2035 – Université Montpellier II - Sciences et techniques
Sciences of the Universe/Earth Sciences/Tectonics
Geological and geophysical imagery – crustal-scale cross-section – mantle indenters – crustal duplexes – southwestern Alps