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Deformation of the European Plate (58-0 Ma): Evidence from Calcite Twinning Strains
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3347-9284
2022 (English)In: Geosciences, E-ISSN 2076-3263, Vol. 12, no 6, article id 254Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a data set of calcite twinning strain results (n = 209 samples; 9919 measured calcite twins) from the internal Alpine nappes northwestward across the Alps and Alpine foreland to the older extensional margin along the Atlantic coast in Ireland. Along the coast of Northern Ireland, Cretaceous chalks and Tertiary basalts are cross-cut by calcite veins and offset by calcite-filled normal and strike-slip faults. Both Irish sample suites (n = 16 with four U-Pb vein calcite ages between 70–42 Ma) record a sub-horizontal SW-NE shortening strain with vertical extension and no strain overprint. This sub-horizontal shortening is parallel to the margin of the opening of the Atlantic Ocean (~58 Ma), and this penetrative fabric is only observed ~100 km inboard of the margin to the southeast. The younger, collisional Alpine orogen (~40 Ma) imparted a stress–strain regime dominated by SE-NW sub-horizontal shortening ~1200 km northwest from the Alps preserved in Mesozoic limestones and calcite veins (n = 32) in France, Germany and Britain. This layer-parallel shortening strain (−3.4%, 5% negative expected values) is preserved across the foreland in the plane of Alpine thrust shortening (SE-NW) along with numerous outcrop-scale contractional structures (i.e., folds, thrust faults). Calcite veins were observed in the Alpine foreland in numerous orientations and include both a SE-NW layer-parallel shortening fabric (n = 11) and a sub-vertical NE-SW vein-parallel shortening fabric (n = 4). Alpine foreland strains are compared with twinning strains from the frontal Jura Mountains (n = 9; layer-parallel shortening), the Molasse basin (n = 26; layer-parallel and layer-normal shortening), Pre-Alp nappes (n = 39; layer-parallel and layer-normal shortening), Helvetic and Penninic nappes (Penninic klippe; n = 46; layer-parallel and layer-normal shortening plus four striated U-Pb calcite vein ages ~24 Ma) and calcsilicates from the internal Tauern window (n = 4; layer-normal shortening). We provide a chronology of the stress–strain history of the European plate from 58 Ma through the Alpine orogen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 12, no 6, article id 254
Keywords [en]
calcite strains, structural geology, thrust belt evolution
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-212180DOI: 10.3390/geosciences12060254ISI: 000816626000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85132864712OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-212180DiVA, id: diva2:1715703
Available from: 2022-12-02 Created: 2022-12-02 Last updated: 2022-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Ring, Uwe

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