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Variscan to eo-Alpine events recorded in European lower-crust zircons sampled from the French Massif Central and Corsica, France

Abstract : Ion-microprobe U–Pb zircon dating of lower-crust metasedimentary granulite are reported on samples from two localities in Europe in order to determine (a) how this environment recorded the Variscan and eo-Alpine events, and (b) whether the transition between the two orogenic cycles was continuous or separated by a gap. The samples come from enclaves hosted by Miocene volcanoes at Bournac in the French Massif Central, and from the granulitic metasedimentary basement of the Alpine Santa Lucia nappe in Corsica, on the South European paleomargin of the Ligurian branch of the Tethys Sea. The zircon ages from Bournac range between 630 and 430 Ma and between 380 and 150 Ma with a major frequency peak at 285 Ma; the zircons older than 430 Ma are interpreted as detrital, whereas those younger than 380 Ma are considered to have formed by metamorphic processes after burial in the lower crust. Zircon ages from Santa Lucia range from to 356 to 157 Ma, with exception of one inherited Archean grain, and are interpreted like the younger Bournac zircons as having been formed by metamorphic processes. In a granulite metamorphic environment, as opposed to an anatectic environment, new zircon growth can occur in the solid state. Once Zr has been incorporated into zircon, however, it is difficult to remobilize without dissolution; thus Zr available for new zircon growth must result from the breakdown of Zr-bearing minerals during prograde and/or retrograde events. In this light, the U–Pb zircon-age probability curves are interpreted as markers for major tectonometamorphic events, as suggested by the close correspondence between peaks in the curve and geological events recorded in the upper-crust, such as magma emplacement and basin subsidence. Evidence of a tectonometamorphic gap between the Variscan and Alpine orogeneses is provided by the Santa Lucia zircon-age probability curve, which reveals a probable interlude during the Variscan–Alpine transition between 240 and 210 Ma. Here, the peak at 240 Ma is interpreted as the very beginning of crustal extension and the low at 210 Ma as a period of quiescence prior to the formation of an active margin and oceanization.
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Soumis le : jeudi 18 août 2022 - 14:13:27
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Philippe Rossi, Alain Cocherie, C. Mark Fanning, Étienne Deloule. Variscan to eo-Alpine events recorded in European lower-crust zircons sampled from the French Massif Central and Corsica, France. Lithos, Elsevier, 2006, 87 (3-4), pp.235-260. ⟨10.1016/j.lithos.2005.06.009⟩. ⟨hal-03753563⟩

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