Late Cretaceous, synorogenic, low-angle normal faulting along the Schlinig fault (Switzerland, Italy, Austria) and its significance for the tectonics of the Eastern Alps

Late Cretaceous, synorogenic, low-angle normal faulting along the Schlinig fault (Switzerland,... The Schlinig fault at the western border of theÖtztal nappe (Eastern Alps), previously interpreted as a west-directed thrust, actually represents a Late Cretaceous, top-SE to -ESE normal fault, as indicated by sense-of-shear criteria found within cataclasites and greenschist-facies mylonites. Normal faulting postdated and offset an earlier, Cretaceous-age, west-directed thrust at the base of theÖtztal nappe. Shape fabric and crystallographic preferred orientation in completely recrystallized quartz layers in a mylonite from the Schlinig fault record a combination of (1) top-east-southeast simple shear during Late Cretaceous normal faulting, and (2) later north-northeast-directed shortening during the Early Tertiary, also recorded by open folds on the outcrop and map scale. Offset of the basal thrust of theÖtztal nappe across the Schlinig fault indicates a normal displacement of 17 km. The fault was initiated with a dip angle of 10° to 15° (low-angle normal fault). Domino-style extension of the competent Late Triassic Hauptdolomit in the footwall was kinematically linked to normal faulting. The Schlinig fault belongs to a system of east- to southeast-dipping normal faults which accommodated severe stretching of the Alpine orogen during the Late Cretaceous. The slip direction of extensional faults often parallels the direction of earlier thrusting (top-W to top-NW), only the slip sense is reversed and the normal faults are slightly steeper than the thrusts. In the western Austroalpine nappes, extension started at about 80 Ma and was coeval with subduction of Piemont-Ligurian oceanic lithosphere and continental fragments farther west. The extensional episode led to the formation of Austroalpine Gosau basins with fluviatile to deep-marine sediments. West-directed rollback of an east-dipping Piemont-Ligurian subduction zone is proposed to have caused this stretching in the upper plate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tectonophysics Elsevier

Late Cretaceous, synorogenic, low-angle normal faulting along the Schlinig fault (Switzerland, Italy, Austria) and its significance for the tectonics of the Eastern Alps

Tectonophysics, Volume 280 (3) – Oct 30, 1997

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
ISSN
0040-1951
eISSN
1879-3266
DOI
10.1016/S0040-1951(97)00037-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Schlinig fault at the western border of theÖtztal nappe (Eastern Alps), previously interpreted as a west-directed thrust, actually represents a Late Cretaceous, top-SE to -ESE normal fault, as indicated by sense-of-shear criteria found within cataclasites and greenschist-facies mylonites. Normal faulting postdated and offset an earlier, Cretaceous-age, west-directed thrust at the base of theÖtztal nappe. Shape fabric and crystallographic preferred orientation in completely recrystallized quartz layers in a mylonite from the Schlinig fault record a combination of (1) top-east-southeast simple shear during Late Cretaceous normal faulting, and (2) later north-northeast-directed shortening during the Early Tertiary, also recorded by open folds on the outcrop and map scale. Offset of the basal thrust of theÖtztal nappe across the Schlinig fault indicates a normal displacement of 17 km. The fault was initiated with a dip angle of 10° to 15° (low-angle normal fault). Domino-style extension of the competent Late Triassic Hauptdolomit in the footwall was kinematically linked to normal faulting. The Schlinig fault belongs to a system of east- to southeast-dipping normal faults which accommodated severe stretching of the Alpine orogen during the Late Cretaceous. The slip direction of extensional faults often parallels the direction of earlier thrusting (top-W to top-NW), only the slip sense is reversed and the normal faults are slightly steeper than the thrusts. In the western Austroalpine nappes, extension started at about 80 Ma and was coeval with subduction of Piemont-Ligurian oceanic lithosphere and continental fragments farther west. The extensional episode led to the formation of Austroalpine Gosau basins with fluviatile to deep-marine sediments. West-directed rollback of an east-dipping Piemont-Ligurian subduction zone is proposed to have caused this stretching in the upper plate.

Journal

TectonophysicsElsevier

Published: Oct 30, 1997

References

  • Tectonics and topography for a lithosphere containing density heterogeneities
    Fleitout, L.; Froidevaux, C.
  • Late Cretaceous exhumation of the metamorphic Gleinalm dome, Eastern Alps: kinematics, cooling history and sedimentary response in a sinistral wrench corridor
    Neubauer, F.; Dallmeyer, R.D.; Dunkl, I.; Schirnik, D.
  • Evolution of retreating subduction boundaries formed during continental collision
    Royden, L.H.
  • Are systematic variations in thrust belt style related to plate boundary processes? (The Western Alps versus the Carpathians)
    Royden, L.; Burchfiel, B.C.
  • Slab breakoff: a model for syncollisional magmatism and tectonics in the Alps
    von Blanckenburg, F.; Davies, J.H.
  • Subduction tectonic erosion and Late Cretaceous subsidence along the northern Austroalpine margin (eastern Alps, Austria)
    Wagreich, M.

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