The Rechnitz Window is the easternmost Penninic window of the Alps and the only one that is partly covered by Neogene sediments. Zircon and apatite fission-track ages have been measured on the Penninic metasediments of the Rechnitz series to better understand the exhumation of the window at the Alpine-Pannonian border. The zircon FT ages range from 21.9 to 13.4 Ma, similar to the white mica K/Ar ages (19 and 23 Ma). The exhumation rate during the Early Miocene extension was high (∼40°C/Ma). Apatite samples display FT ages of 7.3 and 9.7 Ma, thus the cooling rate was significantly less (7–11°C/Ma) during the post-rift uplift uplift in Late Miocene-Pliocene than in the Early Miocene escape period. Zircon FT ages decrease eastward due to the gradual southeastward slide of the Austroalpine cover along low-angle normal faults. The exhumation of the Rechnitz metamorphic core complex is younger than the unroofing of the eastern Tauern Window. Morphology of detrital zircon crystals of the Penninic metasediments was used for the differentiation of tectonic subunits and to trace the internal structure of the window. One population was probably derived from undifferentiated calc-alkaline granitoids and tholeiitic granitoid sources, while the other derived from evolved calc-alkaline granitoids and alkaline granitoids of anorogenic complexes. The areal distribution of zircon populations is in harmony with the eastward shift of zircon cooling ages. These data indicate the exhumation of deep levels of Penninic metasediments in the centre of the window.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: May 10, 1997
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