Abstract Existing geochronological data are reviewed and new Rb‐Sr, K‐Ar and 39Ar–40Ar ages are presented, including a suite of 33 mica ages from a 20 km north–south tunnel section. These data are discussed in relation to the thermal history from the overthrusting of the Autroalpine nappes c. 65 Myr ago to the present. The earliest phase of metamorphism, involving lawsonite crystallization, is associated with emplacement of these nappes. Subsequently, temperatures in the rocks beneath rose, at a mean rate of 3–6°C/Myr, until the climax of metamorphism. At high structural levels, published data indicate an age > 35 Myr for the metamorphic climax. In contrast, a new 39Ar–40Ar step‐heating age of 23.8 ± 0.8 Myr on amphibole, from near the base of Peripheral Schieferhülle, closely approximates the age of metamorphism and provides the first clear indication that the climax of metamorphism occurred later at deeper structure levels. Following the climax, near‐isothermal uplift and erosion reduced pressure to c. 1 kbar before white mica closure at 19 Myr; this implies uplift at >3 mm/yr. Along the tunnel section, white mica K‐Ar ages vary systematically from 24 Myr to 16.5 Myr with position relative to a late 4 km amplitude dome whereas biotite Rb‐Sr ages are uniform at 16.5 Myr across the whole profile; doming is thus dated at 16.5 Myr with transient uplift rates >5 mm/yr. At other times uplift rates were <1 mm/yr.
Journal of Metamorphic Geology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1985
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