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The 3D interplay between folding and faulting in a syn-orogenic 3 extensional system: the Simplon Fault Zone in the Central Alps (Switzerland and Italy)

Abstract : Extensional low-angle detachments developed in convergent or post-collisional settings are often associated with upright folding of the exhumed footwall. TheSimplon Fault Zone (SFZ) is a Miocene low-angle detachment that developed during convergence in the Central Alps (Switzerland and Italy), accommodating a large component of orogen-parallel extension. Its footwall shows complex structural relationships between large-scale backfolds, mylonites and a discrete brittle detachment and forms a 3D gneiss dome reflecting upright folding with fold axes oriented both parallel and perpendicular to the extension direction. We present a regional study that investigates the interplay between folding and faulting and its implications for the resulting exhumation pattern of the gneiss dome using 3D geometric modelling (computer software GeoModeller), together with a consideration of the chronological relationships from field relationships and 40Ar/39Ar dating. The early Simplon mylonitic fabric is clearly folded by both extension-parallel and extensionperpendicular folds, forming a doubly plunging antiform, whereas the later ductile-to-brittle fabric and the cataclastic detachment are only affected by wavy extension-parallel folds. This observation, together with the interpreted cooling pattern across the SFZ, suggests that updoming of the footwall initiated at the onset of faulting during ductile shearing around 18.5 Ma, due to coeval extension and perpendicular convergence. New 40Ar/39Ar dating on micas (biotite and muscovite) from a sample affected by a strong crenulation cleavage parallel to the axial plane of the Glishorn and Berisal parasitic folds establishes that these folds formed at ca. 10 Ma, broadly coeval with late movement along the more discrete detachment of the SFZ. These extension-parallel folds in the footwall of the SFZ developed due to continued convergence across the Alps, accelerating ongoing exhumation of the western Lepontine dome and promoting coeval uplift of the crystalline Aar and Gotthard massifs in the late Miocene.
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https://hal-brgm.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01070953
Contributeur : Gabriel Courrioux <>
Soumis le : jeudi 2 octobre 2014 - 17:26:02
Dernière modification le : mardi 24 mars 2020 - 13:48:09

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M. Campani, Neil Mancktelow, Gabriel Courrioux. The 3D interplay between folding and faulting in a syn-orogenic 3 extensional system: the Simplon Fault Zone in the Central Alps (Switzerland and Italy). Swiss Journal of Geosciences, Springer, 2014, 21 p. ⟨10.1007/s00015-014-0163-y⟩. ⟨hal-01070953⟩

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