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The Maira-Sampeyre and Val Grana Allochthons (south Western Alps): review and new data on the tectonometamorphic evolution of the Briançonnais distal margin

Abstract : Here we describe the structure, the high-pressure, low-temperature (HP-LT) metamorphism and tectonic evolution of the Briançonnais distal margin units from the south Western Alps. The studied area extends southwest of the Dora-Maira (U)HP basement units and east-southeast of the classical Briançonnais nappes. A new structural map accompanied by geological profiles shows the thrusting of the oceanic nappes (Monviso and Queyras units) onto the distal Briançonnais units (D1 and D2 late Eocene deformation phases) under blueschist-facies conditions. Subsequent deformation during the Early Oligocene (D3 deformation phase) took place under greenschist-facies conditions and was associated with back-folding and -thrusting in the units overlying the Dora-Maira massif and with exhumation related to normal reactivation of former thrusts within the latter massif. Two large cover units, detached from their former distal Briançonnais basement, are redefined as the Maira-Sampeyre and Val Grana Allochthons (shortly: Maira-Grana Allochthons = MGA) including, (i) the Val Maira-Sampeyre unit involving Lower and Middle Triassic formations, seemingly detached from the Dora-Maira units during the subduction process, and (ii) the Val Grana unit with Middle-Upper Triassic and Early-Middle Jurassic formations, which was probably detached from the Maira-Sampeyre unit and correlates with the “Prepiemonte units” known from the Ligurian Alps to the Swiss Prealps. Three major shear zones involving tectonic mélanges of oceanic and continental rocks at the base of the Val Grana, Maira-Sampeyre and Dronero units testify to an early phase of exhumation within the subduction channel in front of the Adria plate. We present a new metamorphic map based on published and new petrological data, including new thermometric data obtained by Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material (RSCM). The T RSCM values range from ~ 400 °C to > 500 °C, going from the most external Val Grana unit and overlying Queyras schists to the uppermost Dora-Maira unit. During the Late Triassic, the width of the Briançonnais s.l. domain can be restored at ~ 100 km, whereas it reached ~ 150 km after the Jurassic rifting. A significant, second rifting event affected the Briançonnais domain during the Late Cretaceous-Paleocene, forming the Longet-Alpet chaotic breccias, which deserve further investigations.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 1:38:09 PM
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André Michard, Stefan Schmid, Abdeltif Lahfid, Michel Ballèvre, Paola Manzotti, et al.. The Maira-Sampeyre and Val Grana Allochthons (south Western Alps): review and new data on the tectonometamorphic evolution of the Briançonnais distal margin. Swiss Journal of Geosciences, Springer, 2022, 115 (1), pp.19. ⟨10.1186/s00015-022-00419-8⟩. ⟨insu-03690600⟩

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