Permo‐Triassic remnants (300–220 Ma) of high‐temperature metamorphism associated with large gabbro bodies occur in the Alps and indicate a high thermal regime compatible with lithospheric thinning. During the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic, an extensional tectonics leads to the break‐up of Pangea continental lithosphere and the opening of Alpine Tethys Ocean (170–160 Ma), as testified by the ophiolites outcropping in the Central–Western Alps and Apennines. We revise geological data from the Permian to Jurassic of the Alps and Northern Apennines, focusing on continental and oceanic basement rocks, and predictions of existing numerical models of post‐collisional extension of continental lithosphere and successive rifting and oceanization. The aim is to test whether the transition from the Permo‐Triassic extensional tectonics to the Jurassic opening of Alpine Tethys occurred. We enforce the interpretation that a forced extension of 2 cm/year of the post‐collisional lithosphere results in a thermal state compatible with the Permo‐Triassic high‐temperature event suggested by pressure and temperature conditions of metamorphic rocks and widespread igneous activity. Extensional or transtensional tectonics is also in agreement with the generalized subsidence indicated by the deposition of sedimentary successions with deepening upward facies occurred in the Alps from the Permian to Jurassic. Furthermore, a rifting developed on a thermally perturbed lithosphere agrees with a hyperextended configuration of the Alpine Tethys rifting and with the duration of the extension necessary to the oceanization. The review supports the interpretation of Alpine Tethys opening developed on a lithosphere characterized by a thermo‐mechanical configuration inherited by the post‐Variscan extension which affected Pangea during the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, a long‐lasting period of active extension can be envisaged for the breaking of Pangea supercontinent, starting from the unrooting of the Variscan belts, followed by the Permo‐Triassic thermal high, and ending with the crustal break‐up and the formation of the Alpine Tethys Ocean.

What drives Alpine Tethys opening? Clues from the review of geological data and model predictions / M. Roda, A. Regorda, M.I. Spalla, A.M. Marotta. - In: GEOLOGICAL JOURNAL. - ISSN 0072-1050. - 54:4(2019), pp. 2646-2664.

What drives Alpine Tethys opening? Clues from the review of geological data and model predictions

M. Roda;A. Regorda;M.I. Spalla;A.M. Marotta
2019

Abstract

Permo‐Triassic remnants (300–220 Ma) of high‐temperature metamorphism associated with large gabbro bodies occur in the Alps and indicate a high thermal regime compatible with lithospheric thinning. During the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic, an extensional tectonics leads to the break‐up of Pangea continental lithosphere and the opening of Alpine Tethys Ocean (170–160 Ma), as testified by the ophiolites outcropping in the Central–Western Alps and Apennines. We revise geological data from the Permian to Jurassic of the Alps and Northern Apennines, focusing on continental and oceanic basement rocks, and predictions of existing numerical models of post‐collisional extension of continental lithosphere and successive rifting and oceanization. The aim is to test whether the transition from the Permo‐Triassic extensional tectonics to the Jurassic opening of Alpine Tethys occurred. We enforce the interpretation that a forced extension of 2 cm/year of the post‐collisional lithosphere results in a thermal state compatible with the Permo‐Triassic high‐temperature event suggested by pressure and temperature conditions of metamorphic rocks and widespread igneous activity. Extensional or transtensional tectonics is also in agreement with the generalized subsidence indicated by the deposition of sedimentary successions with deepening upward facies occurred in the Alps from the Permian to Jurassic. Furthermore, a rifting developed on a thermally perturbed lithosphere agrees with a hyperextended configuration of the Alpine Tethys rifting and with the duration of the extension necessary to the oceanization. The review supports the interpretation of Alpine Tethys opening developed on a lithosphere characterized by a thermo‐mechanical configuration inherited by the post‐Variscan extension which affected Pangea during the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, a long‐lasting period of active extension can be envisaged for the breaking of Pangea supercontinent, starting from the unrooting of the Variscan belts, followed by the Permo‐Triassic thermal high, and ending with the crustal break‐up and the formation of the Alpine Tethys Ocean.
Alpine Tethys rifting; numerical modelling; Permo-Triassic high thermal regime; Variscan collision
Settore GEO/03 - Geologia Strutturale
Settore GEO/10 - Geofisica della Terra Solida
24-ago-2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/585188
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