Italian Journal of Geosciences - Vol. 133 (2014) f.3

Illite (KI) and chlorite (AI) 'crystallinity' indices as a constraint for the evolution of the External Briançonnais Frontin Western Ligurian Alps (NW Italy)

Fabrizio Piana (*), Stefano Battaglia (**), Carlo Bertok (***), Anna D'atri (***),Alessandro Ellero (**), Leonardo Leoni (****), Luca Martire (***) & Elena Perotti (***)
(*) CNR IGG - Torino, Via Valperga Caluso, 35 - 10125 Torino. Corresponding author. E-mail:; tel.: +390116705356. (**) CNR IGG - Pisa, Via G. Moruzzi, 1 - Località S. Cataldo -56124 Pisa. (***) Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Torino, Via Valperga Caluso, 35 - 10125 Torino. (****) Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Pisa, Via S. Maria, 53 - 56126 Pisa.

Volume: 133 (2014) f.3
Pages: 445-454


Analyses of illite (KI) and chlorite (AI) 'crystallinity' indices,mainly from Cretaceous to upper Eocene-lower Oligocene clay-richformations, have been performed to constrain the metamorphichistory of Briançonnais, Dauphinois/Provençal, and Western Ligurianflysch tectonic units at the Ligurian-Maritime Alps junction.The illite and chlorite mineralogical parameters point to verylow-grade conditions for both the Briançonnais and Dauphinois/Provençal units, characteristic of the middle anchizonal grade. Alsosome tectonic slices of Western Ligurian flysch involved in the majortranspressive shear zones developed along the External Briançonnaisfront share the same metamorphic grade as the Briançonnaisand Dauphinois/Provençal units.Conversely the S. Remo-M. Saccarello unit, another WesternLigurian flysch unit overthrust at the top of the tectonic stack of theWestern Ligurian Alps, underwent only diagenetic conditions. Thisshows that: a) in Western Ligurian Alps no significative change ofmetamorphic grade occurs across the External Briançonnais Frontand thus the Briançonnais and Dauphinois/Provençal units wereparts of a single foreland fold-and-thust-belt; b) Western Ligurianflysch units, although referable to a common palaeogeographicLigu rian domain, occur in two different tectonic settings: someunits were placed along the European continental margin sincebefore the beginning of Alpine tectonics and later on, from theOligocene onwards, were involved and intensively sheared withintranspressive shear zones along the External Briançonnais front;other units, such as the S. Remo-M. Saccarello unit, show a verydifferent thermal history consistent with a shallower crustal pathand an emplacement at the top of the tectonic stack in a final stageof the contractional regime.


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