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Dating Low-Grade Deformation: Role of Lithology and Strain Partitioning on Ar Isotope Records in the Alpi Apuane of Northern Apennines (Italy)

Abstract : The Alpi Apuane (northern Apennines) represent a key area for understanding the processes related to the Apennines building and geodynamic evolution of the central Mediterranean, but the timing of tectono-metamorphic events is still debated. White mica from cover rocks of the Massa and Apuane units was investigated by the 40Ar-39Ar in situ and step-heating techniques. Samples recorded several episodes of deformation developed under low-grade conditions and resulting in a D1 composite schistosity followed by a variably developed D2 retrograde crenulation. In the Massa Unit, D2 crenulation was accompanied by replacement of muscovite-phengite by paragonite, whereas the composition of phengite from the Apuane Unit does not vary noticeably, irrespective of whether phengite is aligned along D1 or D2 schistosities. Both units exhibit a significant intrasample scatter of in situ ages and variably discordant age spectra from step-heating data, due to partial reequilibration of white mica along a deformation path lasting ≥10 Ma, with dates approaching the time of younger events as retrogression becomes more pervasive. The onset of deformation has a minimum age of ∼20 Ma, as documented by 40Ar-39Ar data for the composite D1 foliation in the Massa Unit. D2 deformation shows a common temporal evolution at the scale of the region and is recorded for at least ∼2.5 Ma, starting not after ∼12.5 Ma and ending at ∼10.5 Ma. Results highlight the importance of a detailed microscale characterization and of a careful preselection of samples, as compositionally different domains a few millimeters apart may yield different results because of compositionally driven strain partitioning.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 4:21:19 PM
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Gianfranco Di Vincenzo, Gaston Godard, Giancarlo Molli. Dating Low-Grade Deformation: Role of Lithology and Strain Partitioning on Ar Isotope Records in the Alpi Apuane of Northern Apennines (Italy). TECTONICS, 2022, 41, ⟨10.1029/2022TC007248⟩. ⟨insu-03748511⟩

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