Lateral termination of the north-directed Alpine orogeny and onset of westward escape in the Western Alpine arc: Structural and sedimentary evidence from the external zone


31p.International audienceThe initial propagation of the Western Alpine orogen was directed northwestward, as shown by basement-involved and Mesozoic sedimentary cover compressional structures and by the early foreland basins evolution. The crystalline basement of the Dauphine zone recorded three shortening episodes: pre-Priabonian deformation D1 (coeval with the Pyrenean-Provence orogeny), and Alpine shortening events D2 (N-NW directed) and D3 (W-directed). The early Oligocene D2 structures are trending sub-perpendicular to the more recent, arcuate orogen and are interfering with (or truncated by) D3, which marks the onset of westward lateral extrusion. The NW-ward propagating Alpine flexural basin shows earliest Oligocene thin-skinned compressional deformation, with syn-depositional basin-floor tilting and submarine removal of the basin infill above active structures. Gravity enhanced submarine erosion gave birth locally to steep submarine slopes overlain by kilometric-scale blocks slid from the orogenic wedge. The deformations of the basin floor and the associated sedimentary and erosional features indicate a N-NW-ward directed propagation, consistent with D2 in the Dauphine foreland. The Internal zones represent the paleo-accretionary prism developed during this early Alpine continental subduction stage. The early buildup has been curved in the arc and rapidly exhumed during the Oligocene collision stage. Westward extrusion and indenting by the Apulian lithosphere allowed the modern arc to crosscut the western, lateral termination of the ancient orogen from similar to 32 Ma onward. This contrasted evolution leads to propose a palinspastic restoration taking in account important northward transport of the distal passive margin fragments (Brianconnais) involved in the accretionary prism before the formation of the Western Alps arc

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HAL Université de Savoie

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oaioai:HAL:insu-00633897v1Last time updated on 11/9/2016View original full text link

This paper was published in HAL Université de Savoie.

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