Detrital zircon age patterns from turbidites of the Balagne and Piedmont nappes of Alpine Corsica (France): Evidence for a European margin source

Wei Lin 1 Philippe Rossi 2 Michel Faure 3, 4 Xian-Hua Li 1 Wenbin Ji 1 Yang Chu 1
4 Géodynamique - UMR7327
BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327, INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers , UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327
Abstract : At the front of metamorphic Cenozoic Alpine nappe of Schistes Lustrés, Western Alpine Corsica (France) exposes non- to very low grade metamorphic nappes, such as the Piedmont nappes and Upper nappes, such as the Balagne nappe. The provenance of the Balagne nappe remains still opened: an origin close to the Corsican continental margin; or an origin far East from the Corsican margin toward the “Apenninic” oceanic domain. This would constrain that the Balagne ophiolite be derived from the opposite OCT, close to a microcontinent located to the East of the Mesozoic Corsican margin. A systematic U-Pb dating of 586 detrital zircon grains collected from the turbidites in the Balagne and Piedmont nappes has been performed to constrain the source of sediments. The zircon grains yield U-Pb age spectra ranging from Neoarchean to Late Paleozoic with age peaks at 2600 Ma, 2080 Ma, 1830 Ma, 910 Ma, 600 Ma, 560 Ma, 450 Ma, 330 Ma and 280 Ma with different continental model ages (TDM2) from 3.5 Ga to 1.0 Ga. The variety of composition of the Corsican batholith, unique in its present Mediterranean environment, and in spite of Alpine transcurrent movements, provide a key to analyze the detrital zircon age distribution patterns of sedimentary rocks. These new results i) confirm the lack of any Cretaceous zircon that validates absence of a magmatic arc of this age, at least in the surroundings of the turbiditic formations from the Balagne and the Piedmont nappes; ii) fully support an European origin of detritus of the Balagne nappe, iii) put forward evidence that no ophiolitic zircon was contained in Cretaceous nor Eocene turbidites samples, and iv) question both the deposition of the Piedmont Narbinco flysch within the ocean continent transition and its possible relationships with the Late Cretaceous Pyrenean basins.
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Wei Lin, Philippe Rossi, Michel Faure, Xian-Hua Li, Wenbin Ji, et al.. Detrital zircon age patterns from turbidites of the Balagne and Piedmont nappes of Alpine Corsica (France): Evidence for a European margin source. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2018, 722, pp.69-105. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2017.09.015⟩. ⟨insu-01592867⟩

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