Isotopic dating of deformation

Rock deformation continuously rearranges the Earth’s shape. It modifies solid, preexisting rock textures, often in a destructive manner. It can manifest itself in a diversity of ways, ranging from homogeneously distributed to relatively localized. Fluid infiltration and mineral reactions usually accompany/trigger deformation. Dating deformation and its duration is a challenging endeavor, which requires geochemical, petrologic, microstructural and structural characterization in addition to mass spectrometric isotope measurements. In this context, division into pre-, syn-, and post-kinematic mineral growth as well as petrochronological classification is required for a reliable age interpretation.

In this session, we warmly welcome studies that characterize deformation in detail from micro- to macroscopic scale prior to isotopic dating. We would like to discuss innovation, suitability and limitation of the applied method particularly dating deformation rather than metamorphism. We are interested in discussing the significance of the analytical vs. systematic errors in the light of technical improvements enabling analyses of tiny (high spatial resolution) but distinctly different (microtexture) targets with high precision geochronology. Dating of unconventional minerals, systematic sampling/dating strategies of deformed and host rocks and additional geochemical analyses are examples of promising approaches to directly date deformation.

Co-organized by GMPV7
Convener: Susanne SchneiderECSECS | Co-conveners: Matthias Konrad-Schmolke, Igor M Villa, Christoph von Hagke
vPICO presentations
| Wed, 28 Apr, 13:30–15:00 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Wed, 28 Apr

Chairpersons: Igor M Villa, Susanne Schneider, Matthias Konrad-Schmolke
Thematic block: U-Pb chronology and cosmogenic dating
Nick Roberts and Jack Lee

Several isotopic systems can potentially be used to provide absolute chronology of carbonate minerals; these include Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, U-Pb and U-Th. The production of a robust date requires incorporation of the parent isotope during formation, and ideally low abundance of the daughter isotope. Variable parent-daughter (P/D) abundance during formation additionally can increase the robustness of the resulting isochron. The ability to use high spatial resolution sampling via laser ablation (LA-) ICP-MS, makes it the most attractive technique, as varying P/D ratios can be sampled within single age domains, whether these be crystals, growth bands, or other textural domains. Of the systems available in carbonate, U-Pb is the only one that is commonly applied with LA-ICP-MS methods, although the others are all possible with modern instrumentation. Of note, collision-cell technology means that Rb-Sr is regaining popularity as an in situ dating method. Carbonate geochronology can be achieved at a range of timescales, with U-Th ranging from 100s yrs to ca. 500 ka, and U-Pb ranging from 100s ka to 100s Ma. The potential for isotopic disequilibrium effecting measured U-Pb ages, means that young (< 10 Ma) U-Pb dates are susceptible to inaccuracy. Published LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dates suggest that this method can be pushed well into the Precambrian.


The application of U-Th and U-Pb geochronology to provide direct timing constraints on deformation gained ground around 10 and 5 years ago, respectively. Because LA-ICP-MS instrumentation is relatively common, and because ancient carbonates provide undated material of significant interest, U-Pb in particular has become a rapidly growing technique. The biggest advance in LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating has been the characterisation of matrix-matched calcite reference materials (RMs). The observation of minor matrix-related effects between carbonate matrices however, means that the availability of well characterised RMs for minerals such as dolomite and siderite, are a limiting factor in the accuracy of these non-calcite dates. In terms of deformation, most existing data corresponds to calcite.


Calcite precipitates from fluid at a range of temperatures in the upper crust, with fluid-flow typically being enhanced by brittle deformation, i.e. faulting and fracturing. To link calcite dates to the timing of specific deformational events, such as fault slip or fracture-opening, various ‘syn-tectonic’ or ‘syn-kinematic’ vein types have ben utilised. These include slickenfibres, breccia cements, and various types of vein arrays. Each of these structures has variable ability to faithfully record the timing of fault slip, and the ability to link calcite mineralisation to the timing of fault slip remains one of the most assumptive parts of this method. Detailed petrographic and compositional characterisation and documentation are required, for which a range of methods are available, such as cathodoluminescence and trace element mapping. Along with a summary of the advances in carbonate geochronology, various examples of vein structures and of methods for characterisation will be discussed, including examples where there is evidence for overprinting by later fluid-flow.

How to cite: Roberts, N. and Lee, J.: Progress and pitfalls in dating deformation with carbonate geochronology, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12068, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12068, 2021.

David Cruset, Jaume Vergés, and Anna Travé

Recently, U-Pb dating of fracture-filling carbonates has revealed as a powerful tool to constrain the absolute timing of deformation in fold and thrust belts. However, geochronological studies of these minerals have to be combined with petrological observations and geochemical analyses to decipher if measured dates document fluid flow synchronously to deformation or post-kinematic events.

The Pyrenean compressional belt formed from Late Cretaceous to Oligocene due to the stacking of three thrust sheets and a deformed foreland basin. From top-and-older to bottom-and-younger, these consist of the Bóixols-Upper Pedraforca, Lower Pedraforca and Cadí thrust sheets and the Ebro foreland basin. Here, we quantify the duration of thrust sheet emplacement and shortening rates in the SE Pyrenees using U-Pb dating of 43 calcites filling fractures and interparticle porosity.

Four fracture sets related to compressional tectonics and one set related to extension are identified. The compressive sets include: 1) N-S, NNW-SSE and NNE-SSW trending veins; 2) E-W trending folding-related veins; 3) E-W trending reverse faults; and 4) NW-SE and NE-SW trending strike-slip faults. Fractures related to extension are NNW-SSE and NW-SE trending normal faults.

Elongated blocky, blocky and bladed calcite textures of the dated cements are observed. Elongated textures are observed in reverse, strike-slip and normal faults and occasionally in N-S, NNW-SSE and NNE-SSW and E-W veins. In these fractures, calcite crystals are arranged parallel, oblique, or perpendicular to fracture walls and provide evidence for syn-kinematic growth. Blocky and bladed textures have been identified in N-S, NNW-SSE and NNE-SSW veins, E-W folding-related veins, reverse and strike-slip faults and in calcite precipitated between sedimentary breccia clasts. Although these textures indicate precipitation after vein opening or at lower rates than vein opening, their presence in crack-seal veins and in stepped slickensides also indicates syn-kinematic growth. Moreover, clumped isotope temperatures measured in several blocky and bladed calcites precipitated in veins and faults indicate that most of them precipitated from fluids in thermal disequilibrium with host rocks, revealing rapid fluid flow and precipitation just after fracturing. Contrarily, low temperatures measured in blocky and bladed calcite precipitated in the interparticle porosity of sedimentary breccias indicate late fluid migration.

U-Pb dating applied to fracture-filling calcites in the SE Pyrenean fold and thrust belt yielded 46 ages from 70.6 ± 0.9 Ma to 2.8 ± 1.8 Ma (Cruset et al., 2020). The results reveal minimum durations for the emplacement of each thrust sheet (18.7 Myr for the Bóixols-Upper Pedraforca, 11.6 Myr for the Lower Pedraforca and 14.3 Myr for the Cadí), and that piggy-back thrusting was accompanied by post-emplacement deformation of upper thrust units above the lower ones during tectonic transport. These estimated durations, combined with the minimum shortening established for the Bóixols-Upper Pedraforca, Lower Pedraforca and Cadí thrust sheets by other methods, allows calculating shortening rates of 0.6 mm/yr, 3.1 mm/yr and 1.1 mm/yr, respectively. Finally, the results also reveal the development of local normal faults at late Oligocene times during the final stages of compression and exhumation.


Cruset et al. (2020). Geological Society of London. 177, 1186-1196.

How to cite: Cruset, D., Vergés, J., and Travé, A.: U-Pb dates measured in fracture-filling calcites from the SE Pyrenees: syn- or post-kinematic mineral growth?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8814, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8814, 2021.

Veronica Peverelli, Alfons Berger, Pierre Lanari, Martin Wille, Igor Maria Villa, Daniela Rubatto, Thomas Pettke, and Marco Herwegh

Recently, the application of LA–ICP–MS has enabled U–Pb dating of epidote minerals within the epidote–clinozoisite solid solution series (Peverelli et al., 2020). Epidote crystallization ages can provide an absolute time frame of deformation sequences when combined with detailed microstructural and metamorphic P–T analysis. Epidote deformation occurs in a brittle manner over a wide range of conditions below its closure temperature for Pb diffusion (685–750 °C; Dahl, 1997); hence, such deformation will not affect its formation U–Pb age. Nevertheless, the possibility of isotopically resetting epidote via fluid–mineral interaction has to be taken into account even at low deformation temperatures.

We investigated the geochemical and Sr–Pb isotopic characteristics of epidote in one hydrothermal vein in the Aar Massif (central Swiss Alps). The vein is associated with an Alpine shear zone and it is composed of aggregates of 0.1–1 mm anhedral to subhedral epidote grains (epidote-A) + green biotite within a quartz matrix. This quartz dynamically recrystallized by subgrain rotation at temperatures above 400 °C (Stipp et al., 2002) along with crystallization of a second epidote generation (epidote-B) made of tiny (< 0.1 mm) anhedral epidote grains in part mantling epidote-A and defining a fold. We address whether interaction with the fluid that precipitated epidote-B chemically affected epidote-A, i.e. whether the U–Pb age measured by LA–ICP–MS in epidote-A still dates its crystallization upon vein formation or displays age disturbance.

LA–ICP–MS Sr and Pb concentration data overlap between epidote-A and epidote-B, as do their REE patterns, with (La/Yb)N ratios of 0.03–0.92. Lead and Sr isotopic signatures were measured respectively by solution MC–ICP–MS and by TIMS in epidote-A and in separates mixing different proportions of epidote-A and -B (no pure mechanical separates of epidote-B possible), and they are different. This requires open-system conditions during deformation, i.e., introduction of an external fluid with higher 87Sr/86Sr and 208Pb/206Pb ratios during crystallization of epidote-B. Despite the presence of an external fluid and the incorporation of external Sr and Pb in epidote-B, LA–ICP–MS U–Pb isotopic data for epidote-A define a regression in a Tera–Wasserburg plot indicating an age of 19.2 ± 4.3 Ma, consistent with epidote-A crystallization during original vein opening. The preservation of the crystallization age in epidote-A indicates that interaction with the fluid that formed epidote-B did not geochemically and isotopically affect epidote-A. The consistency in trace element contents between epidote-A and -B hints that the epidote-forming cations were inherited by the fluid from epidote-A, and thus suggests dissolution-precipitation as the formation process for epidote-B.


Dahl, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 150, 277–290, 1997.

Peverelli et al., Geochronology Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2020-27, in review, 2020.

Stipp et al., Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 200(1), 171-190, 2002

How to cite: Peverelli, V., Berger, A., Lanari, P., Wille, M., Villa, I. M., Rubatto, D., Pettke, T., and Herwegh, M.: Epidote U–Pb ages vs. fluid–mineral interaction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2497, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2497, 2021.

Zhao Jiawei, Xiao Long, He Qi, and Xiao Zhiyong

Zircon is ubiquitously used to nail down the geological events for both terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials. The U-Pb system and other trace elements in zircon plausibly remain stable and robust in normal metamorphic processes on Earth, while under the extremely shock condition, trace element behaviors in zircon could be unstable and differential due to the generated extraordinary deformations and thermal annealing. Since the systematic deformations in zircon recovered from the Chicxulub impact structure, such as planar fractures (PFs), reidite and granular zircon, the phenomenon of partially or completely age resetting are discovered in zircons from impact melt, breccia, ejecta and meteorites. In effect, element migration during the shock or post-shock setting is the most critical question, which may yield age resetting in nature. The enrichment of elements in shock-deformed zircon regions (PFs and reidite) are revealed, such as Y, Al, Ca, U, Th and Pb. Due to the limitation of resolution and lack of typical shock deformations, the straightforward correlations among deformations, element migration and chronology in zircon by traditional means have not been illustrated clearly so far. Here we systematically analyzed the correlations between shock deformations (from low to high degree: PFs, reidite and granular zircon) and element distribution in zircon by high-resolution Nano-SIMS mapping data. This can be used to interpret the chronology of shock products both from terrestrial and extraterrestrial bodies.

How to cite: Jiawei, Z., Long, X., Qi, H., and Zhiyong, X.: Chronology and Element Distribution of Shock-deformed Regions in Zircon from the Chicxulub Impact Structure, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3856, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3856, 2021.

Lea Pousse-Beltran, Lucilla Benedetti, Jules Fleury, Paolo Boncio, Valery Guillou, Bruno Pace, Magali Rizza, Irene Puliti, and Aster Team

In the Central Apennines (Italy), up to now, no absolute dating directly based on the moraines has been carried out to constrain glacial oscillation. However, climatic constrains are often used in the Central Apennine to estimate long term (> 10 ka) fault slip rate. In addition slip rate assessments based on offset morphotectonic markers on the main branches of fault systems and encompassing several seismic cycles (> 10 ka) are sparse. This is particularly true for the Monte Vettore-Monte Bove fault system which triggered the 2016-2017 seismic sequence. We thus provide new assessment for the vertical slip rates along the Mt Vettore-Mt Bove fault system.  Offset measurements were made using a 5-cm resolution DEM obtained through a drone survey and constrain a fault scarp height of 15.5 ± 1.4 m and a cumulative offset of 32-40.5 m. Samples were collected from the Valle Lunga terminal moraine at 1710 m asl and yield 36Cl exposure ages of 12.7 + 2.2/-1.9 ka while the flat, abraded surface located on top of the tectonic scarp yield 36Cl exposure ages of 23.4 + 5.3/-4.3 ka. Assuming the offset started to accumulate when climate conditions allow its preservation, thus once the surface was abandoned, we constrain a vertical slip rate of 1.2 ± 0.2 mm/yr along the master branch of the Mt Vettore normal fault.  This rate is higher than the ones previously obtained from trenches along secondary splays of the Mt Vettore-Mt Bove and on the Norcia fault systems. Besides, the yielded chronology for the last glacial maximum in that area at ~23 ka is in good agreement with the timing previously proposed for the LGM in the Apennines.

How to cite: Pousse-Beltran, L., Benedetti, L., Fleury, J., Boncio, P., Guillou, V., Pace, B., Rizza, M., Puliti, I., and Team, A.: 36Cl exposure dating of post-glacial features along the Mt Vettore Fault (Central Apennines, Italy) constraining fault slip rate and last glacial advance., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12653, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12653, 2021.

Thematic block: Ar-Ar chronology, methods and processes
Igor M Villa and Chiara Montemagni

Dating structurally complex fault rocks often results in internally inconsistent ages, as several mineral generations are intergrown at scales << 10 µm and almost always altered to various degrees. We describe here 39Ar-40Ar stepheating using the combination of two independent indicators that allow the discrimination of coexisting mica generations from each other and from the ubiquitous retrogression/alteration phases. A necessary first step is electron probe microanalysis to assess both inventory and spatial distribution of the mineral phases that need to be distinguished a posteriori by 39Ar-40Ar systematics. One indicator is based on mica stoichiometry, which can be proxied by the 39Ar concentration in combination with the 37Ar/39Ar and 38Ar/39Ar (i.e. Ca/K and Cl/K) ratios. The other indicator is the furnace temperature, at which a degassing peak accompanying dehydration and structural collapse is observed. As dehydration rates depend on the average bond strength in the crystal structure, it is predicted (and indeed observed) that the temperature of the differential Ar release peak is variable among different minerals. As the Ca/Cl/K signatures of pure micas coincide with the Ar release peak, their combination identifies the isochemical steps that correspond to the degassing of pristine micas. Only these should be used to date the activity of shear zones.

This procedure should become routine in analysing polydeformed metamorphic rocks.

How to cite: Villa, I. M. and Montemagni, C.: Geochronology of Himalayan shear zones: unravelling the timing of thrusting from structurally complex fault rocks, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6645, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6645, 2021.

Silvia Mittempergher, Stefano Zanchetta, Federico Caldiroli, Andrea Bistacchi, Andrea Zanchi, and Igor Maria Villa

The northern Adamello is crosscut by ductile shear zones and pseudotachylyte-bearing faults, both compatible with the same stress field, with ductile shear zones crosscut by brittle faults. These relations are coherent with the re-equilibration of the pluton-related thermal anomaly to temperatures typical of the base of the seismogenic continental crust (T = 250 – 300°). Our new 40Ar-39Ar ages help to constrain the absolute age and duration of each deformation phase.

Samples included wall-rock biotite, bulk ultramylonites and pseudotchylytes. Before stepwise heating 40Ar-39Ar measurements, samples were characterized by microstructural, geochemical and petrological analyses.

The wall-rock biotite is 33.4±0.1 Ma old, independently of grainsize. Mylonites feature complex age spectra between 28-31 Ma, including biotite and altered feldspar. Four pseudotachylyte matrices are clustered around 30-31.5 Ma, and two samples have 25-26 Ma ages.

Ductile shearing active 2 Ma after wall-rock emplacement indicates either low strain rates, or a long-lasting thermal anomaly, which might be due to high emplacement depth, and/or the progressive assemblage of adjacent plutons through small magma pulses. Seismogenic faulting overlaps with mylonitization around 31 Ma; younger pseudotachylyte ages may be due to late-stage reactivation.

How to cite: Mittempergher, S., Zanchetta, S., Caldiroli, F., Bistacchi, A., Zanchi, A., and Villa, I. M.: The timescale of the aseismic to seismic deformation in a cooling pluton: 40Ar-39Ar ages of the solid-state deformation in the Adamello (Southern Italian Alps), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-791, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-791, 2021.

Stefano Zanchetta, Chiara Montemagni, Claudia Mascandola, and Andrea Zanchi

The Periadriatic Fault System (PFS) is one of the most important tectonic element in the Alps, separating the Europe-verging collisional wedge from the S-verging Southern Alps. The PFS developed in a dextral transpressional regime during the Cenozoic, following the Adria-Europe collision. The area between the Passeier and the Eisack rivers (Meran, NE Italy) is a key area for the understanding of the interactions among the PFS, the Giudicarie Fault and the fault network here active in the middle to late Cenozoic. Here the elsewhere E-W trending PFS rotates to a NE-SW trend, impliying significant changes in the fault kinematics and evolution.

The NE-SW strand of the PFS, known as the Meran-Mauls fault, is connected to the North Giudicarie Fault to the west and to the Pustertal segment of the PFS to the east. A general evolution from the ductile to brittle deformation regime has been recognized on the base of field-based structural analysis and microstructural analysis of fault rocks. Pseudotachylytes occur all along the fault zone, testifying to the seismic activity of the Meran-Mauls fault. 40Ar-39Ar dating of pseudotachylytes provided ages in the 32-22 Ma time interval, indicating that the PFS experienced a prolonged seismic activity during middle Cenozoic times. Several pseudotachylytes veins show a re-activation as cm-thick ductile shear zones, indicating that the plastic-brittle transition was not sharp in time.

Combining the structural analysis of the PFS with other adjacent faults connected in space and time (Passeier fault, Faltleis fault, Val Nova fault and other minor faults) we reconstructed a marked reverse dip-slip kinematics of the Meran-Mauls Fault during a progressive transition across the plastic-brittle regime, followed in time by a dextral transpression. Paleostress reconstructions performed on these faults populations indicate a progressive switch of the main direction of compression from NW-SE to N-S. This switch likely occurred when the Meran-Mauls segment of the PFS definitively passed to a brittle deformation regime.


How to cite: Zanchetta, S., Montemagni, C., Mascandola, C., and Zanchi, A.: Time constraints and fault kinematic evolution of the Periadriatic Fault System along the Meran-Mauls segment (N Italy), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2162, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2162, 2021.

Marnie Forster and Gordon Lister

Orogenic listening posts have been established along the northern margins of western Tethys: i) in the west and central Alps; ii) in the Cyclades, Aegean Sea, Greece; and iii) along a traverse in the NW Himalaya. We report on modelling and simulation of data from the conjoint inversion of argon geochronology and ultra-high-vacuum (UHV) diffusion experiments, on rocks from these locations. In the Alps, samples come from either side of the Lepontine dome, a metamorphic core complex that resulted from orogen-parallel extension, with a major pulse of stretching coinciding with the onset of the Eocene–Oligocene transition. In the Cyclades, the samples come from Ios, a metamorphic core complex that began its existence at about the same time, related to extreme extension caused by southward rollback of the Hellenic slab, after an immediately preceding accretion event that incorporated Gondwanan slices into the terrane-stack. In the NW Himalaya, samples come from yet another Tethyan metamorphic core complex, the giant schist and gneiss dome that includes the Tso Morari, in Ladakh, India. 

Inversion of data from these locations reveals unprecedented detail in the inferred temperature-time curve, allowing recognition that a rapid cooling event took place in the lower plate of the detachment system at each of these locations, almost at the same time. We discuss the tectonic implications of a synchronised tectonic mode switch at the start of the Eocene–Oligocene transition. In each location there was a preceding period of compressional orogenesis, involving accretion of multiple tectonic slices to the terrane stack after an accretion event, followed by a period during which extreme extension of the continental lithosphere appears to have taken place. This supports our 2001 hypothesis that tectonic mode switches during collisional orogenesis are globally synchronized, in consequence of torque balance being continuously maintained in the planetary assemblages of moving lithospheric plates. Accretion events perturb that torque balance, with tectonic mode switches the result of mechanical adjustment caused by the creation of new subduction systems, with the initiation of rollback offering a potential explanation for the rapid exhumation of core complexes in the over-riding lithosphere.

How to cite: Forster, M. and Lister, G.: Orogenic listening posts along the margins of western Tethys reveal a major tectonic event involving extreme extension at the start of the Eocene–Miocene transition, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9146, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9146, 2021.

Gordon Lister, Marnie Forster, Jack Muston, Jason Price, and Gianreto Manatschal

Here we demonstrate conjoint inversion of data combined from 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and ultra-high-vacuum (UHV) 39Ar diffusion experiments using potassium feldspar. The method allows precise definition of diffusion parameters for a collection of domains, using an approximation to a fractal geometry. Using the MacArgon program, we could constrain possible temperature histories followed by individual mineral grains in and below the orogenic lid of the European Alps, during its history of mountain building. Tests of the sensitivity of the obtained fits provides insight into the possible range of allowed temperature-time (T-t) paths, and recognition of ‘events’ during which microstructural modification may have taken place. The results suggest a sequence of abrupt cooling events, which could reflect, either: i) cycles of crustal shortening followed by detachment faulting; or ii) initial terrane-stacking beneath the orogenic lid followed by repeated rapid crustal stretching events, each event involving upward stepping of the active detachment fault. Substantial movement on low-angle normal faults and shear zones has taken place, consistent with extreme extension of the mountain belt at high-angles to the convergence direction, in front of the advancing Adriatic indentor. The magnitude of the temperature drop implies that a rapid extension event took place at the time of the Eocene—Oligocene transition, and reduced the thickness of the orogenic lid to a few kilometres.

How to cite: Lister, G., Forster, M., Muston, J., Price, J., and Manatschal, G.: Inversion of argon data implies extreme extension in and below the orogenic lid of the European Alps during Eocene–Oligocene collision, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3632, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3632, 2021.

Thematic block: Regional studies on deformation dating
Georg Löwe, Susanne Schneider, Blanka Sperner, Philipp Balling, Jörg Pfänder, and Kamil Ustaszewski

Extension across the southern Pannonian Basin and the internal Dinarides is characterized by the occurrence of a chain of Oligo-Miocene metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) exhumed along mylonitic low-angle extensional shear zones which in part represent former suturing thrusts. Cer MCC at the transition between the internal Dinarides and the Pannonian Basin occupies a structural position within the distal-most Adriatic thrust sheet and originates from two different tectonic processes: Late Cretaceous-Paleogene nappe-stacking during continent-continent collision between Adria and fragments of European lithosphere with Adria residing in a lower plate position, followed by Miocene exhumation. Structural data and a balanced cross section through the Cer massif show that the exhuming shear zone links to a breakaway fault, which reactivated the early Late Cretaceous most internal nappe contact between the two distal-most Adriatic thrust sheets. At Cer MCC, Paleozoic greenschist- to amphibolite-grade lithologies surround a polyphase intrusion composed of I- and S-type granites. These lithologies were exhumed along the shear zone by top-N transport. Thermobarometric analyses indicate an intrusion depth of 7-8 km of the Oligocene I-type granite; cooling below ~500°C occurred at 25.4±0.6 Ma (1σ) yielded by 40Ar/39Ar dating of hornblende. Biotite and white mica from this intrusion as well as from the mylonitic shear zone yield 40Ar/39Ar ages of 17-18 Ma independent of the used techniques (in-situ laser ablation, single-grain total fusion, single-grain step heating, and multi-grain step heating). White mica from the S-type granite yield an 40Ar/39Ar age of 16.7±0.1 Ma (1σ). Associated dikes intruding the shear zone were also affected by N-S extension, indicating that deformation was still ongoing at that time. Our data suggests that exhumation of the MCC was related to the opening of the Pannonian back-arc basin in response to the Carpathian slab-rollback and triggered extensional reactivation of thrusts in the internal Dinarides.

How to cite: Löwe, G., Schneider, S., Sperner, B., Balling, P., Pfänder, J., and Ustaszewski, K.: The Cer massif in the internal Dinarides: Exhumation triggered as a far-field effect of the Carpathian slab roll-back, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10125, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10125, 2021.

Eleonora Balkanska, Stoyan Georgiev, Alexandre Kounov, Irena Peytcheva, Takahiro Tagami, and Shigeru Sueoka

Sredna Gora Zone in Bulgaria is confined between the Balkan fold-thrust belt to the north and the Rhodope metamorphic complex to the south. The pre-Mesozoic basement of the central parts of the zone consists of Variscan high-grade metamorphic rocks intruded by Late Carboniferous granitoid plutons. They are transgressively overlaid by Triassic epicontinental, arc-related Upper Cretaceous volcaniclastic and Paleocene continental deposits. The Paleogene-Neogene sediments of the Thrace basin cover unconformably the older rock sequences. The zone experienced several compressional and extensional events during the Alpine time followed by post-orogenic extension in the Cenozoic.

We performed apatite fission-track analysis on rocks from the central, topographically highest parts of the Sredna Gora Zone in order to constrain the cooling history of the Variscan basement. With this aim four granitic samples were collected at different altitude (between 565 and 1604 m) from the tectonically uninterrupted section along the slope of Sredna Gora Mountains. The samples were processed and analyzed in the newly established Low-Temperature Thermochronology Laboratory in Bulgaria using LA-ICP-MS technique.

The samples yield apatite FT ages between 41.6 ± 2.6 (the highermost sample) and 39.4 ± 3.1 (the lowermost sample). The obtained confined mean tracks lengths are between 12.81 and 14.06 µm with standard deviation between 0.99 and 2.11 µm. The Dpar values vary from 1.75 µm to 1.46 µm (with standard deviation of approx. 0.20 µm).

The obtained positive age-altitude correlation suggests indeed that the studied part of the basement has cooled as one single block. The apparent exhumation rate is estimated to 0.46 mm/year. However, the positive Dpar-age correlation implies that the age dispersion could be influenced by apatite kinetic variability and hence relatively different closure temperature for the analysed samples may be suggested. Therefore, we consider the estimated apparent exhumation rate as only the minimum possible rate. The thermal models of the analysed samples (using HeFTy software) also show moderate cooling rates in the period between 45 and 35 Ma. This cooling could be related to the period of post-orogenic denudation and extension during the Eocene, associated with formation of the Thrace basin to the south-southeast. This extensional event, known from the whole Balkan Peninsula, is well documented in the neighbouring Balkan fold-thrust belt and the Rhodope metamorphic complex from where much faster exhumation rates were reported.


Acknowledgements. The study is supported by the grant 04/9 funded by the National Science Fund, Ministry of Education and Science, Bulgaria.

How to cite: Balkanska, E., Georgiev, S., Kounov, A., Peytcheva, I., Tagami, T., and Sueoka, S.: Timing and rate of exhumation of Central Sredna Gora Zone basement, Bulgaria, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3862, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3862, 2021.

Bojan Kostić, Uroš Stojadinović, Nemanja Krstekanić, Marija Ružić, and Aleksa Luković

The Serbo-Macedonian Massif represents a belt of medium to lower amphibolite facies metamorphics situated along the European continental margin between the Pannonian Basin in the north and the Aegean Sea in the south. Structurally, it comprises the innermost segments of the Dacia mega-unit of the European affinity and is juxtaposed against the Adria-derived units of the Dinarides across the Adria-Europe zone of collision. The peak metamorphic event in the Serbo-Macedonian Massif is Variscan in age, while its magmatism had a complex pre-Alpine evolution, with the youngest stage being related to the crustal extension during the Triassic opening of the northern branch of Neotethys Ocean (or the Vardar Ocean). The subsequent Late Jurassic–Paleogene closure of the Vardar Ocean led to the E-ward subduction of the Neotethys oceanic lithosphere beneath the upper European plate (i.e., the Sava subduction system). The retreating and steepening of subducting lithosphere during the Late Cretaceous triggered syn-subductional extension in the upper plate of the Sava subduction system. The Late Cretaceous extension exhumed and structurally juxtaposed the high-grade Serbo-Macedonian metamorphics against the low-grade metamorphics of the Carpathians Supragetic Unit. The contact is marked by the E-dipping shear zone that can be traced along the eastern margin of Serbo-Macedonian Massif, from the Vršac Mts in the north, across the Jastrebac Mts and further towards the south in the Central Serbo-Macedonian sub-unit of south-eastern Serbia. The Late Cretaceous extension exhumed the Serbo-Macedonian metamorphic core, concurrently creating subsidence in a forearc basin along the frontal part of the European continental margin.

Due to its unique position in the interference zone of the two retreating Carpathian and Dinaridic slabs, the Northern Serbo-Macedonian sub-unit between the Vršac Mts in the north and the Jastrebac Mts in the south was strongly influenced by processes associated with the Oligocene–Miocene Pannonian extension. Hence, large segments of the Northern Serbo-Macedonian sub-unit including its contact with the Supragetic Unit were buried beneath the Neogene sediments of the Morava Valley Corridor, as the southern prolongation of the Pannonian Basin. In order to segregate and quantify the effects of the Oligocene–Miocene extension we have conducted a coupled kinematic, petrological and thermochronological study in the segments of Northern Serbo-Macedonian sub-unit adjacent to the Dinarides and Carpathians. The recent tectonic uplift of the Vršac Mts occurred in the Middle to Late Miocene along the WSW-dipping normal faults that control deposition in the adjacent Zagajica depression. The ENE-WSW oriented extension, which was triggered by the retreat of Carpathian slab, exhumed the core of the mountains and exposed the Late Cretaceous Serbo-Macedonian\Supragetic extensional contact. South from the Vršac Mts such exhumation was hampered by the presence of rigid Moesian indenter. Tectonic exhumation of the Jastrebac Mts, together with a cluster of Serbo-Macedonian gneiss domes that emerge from the surrounding Neogene sediments in the western-central part of the Morava Valley Corridor, was induced by corrugated detachment faults during the Oligocene–Miocene E-W oriented Dinaridic extension.

How to cite: Kostić, B., Stojadinović, U., Krstekanić, N., Ružić, M., and Luković, A.: Alpine tectonic evolution of the Northern Serbo-Macedonian sub-unit: inferences from kinematic and petrological investigations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-202, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-202, 2021.

Tamara Bayanova, Pavel Serov, and Svetlana Drogobuzhskaya

The isotope U-Pb system on zircon and baddeleyite reflects the precise age of the origin (2.5, 2.45 and 2.4 Ga) and duration (more than 100 Ma) for Cu-Ni and PGE complex deposits widespread in the N-E part of the Fennoscandian Shield. The Monchegorsk, Fedorovo-Pansky and Mt. Generalskaya layered intrusions and ore regions of the orthomagmatic Cu-Ni and PGE deposits with Pt-Pd reefs originated on the continental crust (3.7 Ga). Main phases of gabbronorites were formed mainly at 2.5 Ga and secondary anorthosites at 2.45 Ga, according to U-Pb data on zircon-baddeleyite geochronometries. The Imandra lopolith with Cr deposits was active from 2.45 Ga to 2.4 Ga due to dyke deformation complexes. Isotope Sm-Nd studies and investigations of rock-forming and sulphide minerals from the deposits indicated coeval ages and 3 magmatic time activity with positive epsilon Nd. Deformation or metamorphic events were dated using the Rb-Sr system on minerals and whole rocks from the deposits at 1.9-1.8 Ga.

The Pados Cr (2.08 Ga), Pechenga Cu-Ni (1.98 Ga) and Kolvitsa Ti-Mg (1.89 Ga) orthomagmatic deposits were dated, using the Pb-Nd-Sr isotope systematics. The mentioned deposits originated probably on the oceanic crust (2.7 Ga). According to new in situ LA-ICP-MS data on Os, PGE and REE concentration in zircon, baddeleyite and sulphide minerals from the complex deposits are characterized by subchondritic sources (Malitch et al., 2019). Paleoproterozoic layered intrusions (2.5-1.8 Ga) and deposits were formed from the plume enrichment mantle reservoir (EM-1), according to Nd-Sr data on whole rocks. Baddeleyite as a mantle mostly mineral (Zircon, 2003) reflects the continental break-up and is connected with the oldest supercontinental reconstruction (Ernst, 2016).

All studies have been supported by RFRB 18-05-70082, Scientific Research Contracts Nos 0226-2019-0032 and 0226-2019-0053.

How to cite: Bayanova, T., Serov, P., and Drogobuzhskaya, S.: Isotope systematics (Pb-Nd-Sr) and LA-ICP-MS (REE, Os, PGE) data on time, duration and origin of Paleoproterozoic complex deposits in the N-E part of the Arctic region, Fennoscandian Shield, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9233, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9233, 2021.

Madhusmita Swain and Sukumari Rekha

The Sargur schist belt (SSB) - one of the oldest supracrustal belt (>3.4 Ga) - occurs as discontinuous band along the south-eastern part of Western Dharwar Craton of Indian peninsula. It is a 320 km long belt present in form of lenses, sheets, enclaves, pockets, patches and disrupted layers within the peninsular gneisses, tectonically interleaved, deformed and metamorphosed together with the associated supracrustal rocks (Janardhan et al., 1978; Srikantappa et al., 1984, 1985; Bidyananda and Mitra, 2005; Jayananda et al., 2008). The SSB shows a wide variation in lithology ranging from metapelites, metamafites, metaultramafites, quartzites, calc-silicates etc. with a varying metamorphic grade from greenschist to granulite facies. The major rock types in the study area include garnet-biotite±muscovite±staurolite schist, talc-tremolite-chlorite schist, banded magnetite quartzite, micaceous quartzite, hornblende-biotite±garnet gneiss, amphibolite schist, pyroxene granulites, foliated/deformed granite etc. The fabric in schistose rocks is mainly defined by the shape preferred aggregates of biotite-muscovite (in metapelites) and tremolite-talc-chlorite/amphibole (in metamafites/ultramafites). Whereas the gneissic fabric is defined by the quartzo-feldspathic rich leucocratic layers and biotite-garnet-amphibole-pyroxene rich melanocratic layers.

In the northern part, the SSB trends roughly N-S but towards the southern part the fabric orientation changes to E-W, whereas the dip is nearly vertical through-out the belt. The belt has undergone at least three phases of deformations. In the northern part the most penetrative fabric is a crenulation cleavage S1. The S1 fabric describes open asymmetric folds having sub-vertical N-S and NNE-SSW axial plane (S2). The F2 fold plunges gentle to moderately towards NNE to SSW. A set of E-W trending shears (S3) truncating the S2 axial zones are zonally developed. In the southern part, as the E-W trending Moyar shear zone approaches, the early fabrics are obliterated or brought into parallelism with the E-W trending penetrative S3 fabric. U-Th-total Pb dating of texturally controlled metamorphic monazites have yielded mainly two different age peaks at 2.2-2.3Ga and 2.4-2.5Ga with few older ages of ~2.7Ga ages along the northern part while the sample from the southern part (near to the E-W trending Moyar shear zone) gave younger ages ranging from 700-850 Ma and 500-600 Ma.

From the integration of structural and chronological data the D2 deformation corresponds to the E-W shortening during the East and West Dharwar Craton accretion is syn- to post-tectonic with respect to the 2.4-2.6 Ga monazite growth. The 700-850 Ma and 500-600 Ma monazite growths post-tectonic with respect to the D3 deformation indicates that the Neoproterozoic accretionary events affected the whole Southern Granulite Terrain and recrystallize the monazites present in the Moyar shear zone.

How to cite: Swain, M. and Rekha, S.: Structure and geochronology of Sargur schist belt, Western Dharwar Craton, southern India, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6013, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6013, 2021.