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Dating the Tethyan Ocean in the Western Alps with radiolarite pebbles from synorogenic Oligocene molasse basins (southeast France)

Abstract : For the first time in the Western Alps, radiolarite pebbles collected from Tertiary foreland molasse conglomerates are treated for microfossil extraction and dated. Among forty pebbles collected in the field, seven of them released diagnostic radiolarian assemblages ranging in age from Late Bajocian–Early Callovian to Middle Oxfordian–Early Tithonian. These ages overlap previous biochronological data obtained from in situ localities of the Schistes Lustrés Piemont zone of the French-Italian Alps and triple the number of diagnostic radiolarite samples known so far in this segment of the chain. The diagnostic pebbles are characterized by low grade metamorphism, showing that some eroded thrust-sheets from the oldest parts of the ocean escaped any tectonic burial during the Alpine convergence. Mixing of low and high-grade radiolarites, mafics and ultramafics pebbles implies that various ocean-derived units were exposed. This tectonic scenario involves tight refolding and severe uplift of the Eocene subduction wedge in the Early Oligocene.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02178343
Contributor : Fabrice Cordey <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 6:47:54 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 19, 2021 - 11:22:02 AM

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Fabrice Cordey, Pierre Tricart, Stéphane Guillot, Stéphane Schwartz. Dating the Tethyan Ocean in the Western Alps with radiolarite pebbles from synorogenic Oligocene molasse basins (southeast France). Swiss Journal of Geosciences, Springer, 2012, 105 (1), pp.39-48. ⟨10.1007/s00015-012-0090-8⟩. ⟨hal-02178343⟩

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