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Aegean tectonics, a record of slab-overriding plate interactions (Invited)

Abstract : Two opposing visions of the Aegean backarc tectonics implicitly contain contrasting images of the rheological behaviour of the lihosphere, supported by different sets of observations. The propagation of the NAF and extension in the Corinth Rift suggest a strongly localising rheology whereas the formation of MCC in the Cyclades and the Rhodope suggests instead a more viscous behaviour. This paradox was the seminal question addressed by the ANR-EGEO programme (2007-2010) that leads to the following conclusions: (1) The exhumation of the Cycladic MCC's is accommodated by the N-dipping North Cycladic Detachment System (NCDS) that partly reworks the Vardar suture and at the base by a series of thrusts, including the basal contact of the Cycladic Blueschists (CBS) over the Cycladic Basement (CB). The activity of LANF is due to the reactivation of pre-existing discontinuities such as thrusts or earlier detachments and much less to the interaction with granitic plutons. (2) Exhumation in the Cyclades has proceeded in two stages: (a) Eocene syn-orogenic exhumation within the subduction lower/upperplate interface while the post-orogenic Rhodope MCC formed further north, (b) Oligo-Miocene post-orogenic extension in an MCC mode coeval with syn-orogenic exhumation in Crete and the Peloponnese. (3) Both stages were associated with slab retreat, as early as the Eocene with an acceleration at 30-35 Ma. (4) The localisation of the presently active steeply-dipping normal faults on the southern margin of the Corinth Rift may have been preceded by a partial reworking of thrusts and syn-orogenic detachments by shallow-dipping decollements. (5) The localisation of the NAF in the Marmara Sea region and the Northern Aegean Sea is now accurately dated between 5.3 and 5 Ma Ma using the erosion and deposition surfaces that mark the Messinian salinity Crisis and nannofossils ages. (6) The formation of MCCs in the Cyclades resulted in the draining of the low viscosity lower crust from the northern Aegean Sea and led to an easier coupling between upper mantle and upper crust, easing the localisation and propagation of the NAF. (7) A comparison between crustal and mantle finite strain suggests that mantle flow due to slab retreat controls the stretching of the crust. Our model involves progressive slab retreat and mantle flow below the overriding plate inducing the observed succession of tectonic episodes with a progressive localisation of extension due to several slab tearing events. There is no paradox in the tectonic history and rheological behaviour of the Aegean lithosphere but an evolution of the kinematic boundary conditions due to slab deformation at depth.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 4:31:23 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 27, 2020 - 12:06:04 PM

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Laurent Jolivet, Claudio Faccenna, B. Huet, E. Lecomte, Loic Labrousse, et al.. Aegean tectonics, a record of slab-overriding plate interactions (Invited). American Geophysical Union, Dec 2010, San Francisco, United States. pp.04. ⟨insu-00860518⟩

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