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New 40 Ar/ 39 Ar constraints for the “Grande Nappe”: The largest rhyolitic eruption from the Mont-Dore Massif (French Massif Central)

Abstract : Since the 1960s, an early explosive activity in the Mont-Dore Massif is associated with a major pyroclastic rhyolitic eruption (5–7 km3) known as the “Grande Nappe” (GN). This event, linked to the formation of a 6-km-diameter cryptic caldera named “Haute Dordogne”, was before our investigation dated by 40Ar/39Ar at 3.07 ± 0.04 Ma. Our new single-crystal laser fusion 40Ar/39Ar dates obtained on two outcrops of the GN (Rochefort-Montagne and Ludières) questioned several hypotheses made concerning this “landmark” event of the Mont-Dore Massif history. We demonstrate that: (1) the GN rhyolitic eruption has occurred much later than previously estimated (i.e. 2.77 ± 0.02–0.07 Ma full external uncertainties); (2) the correlation made between the Vendeix rhyolitic complexes (intra-caldera position) dated back to 2.74 ± 0.04 Ma and the GN is proposed; (3) xenocryst contamination could be very high (i.e. 70% for the Rochefort-Montagne GN outcrop) and explains the noticeable older age obtained previously; (4) a link between the GN eruption and the formation of a caldera is questionable; the hypothesis of a northward-oriented blast channeled eastward toward the paleo-Allier River is thus proposed.
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Sébastien Nomade, Jean-François Pastre, Alison Pereira, Alexandra Courtin-Nomade, Vincent Scao. New 40 Ar/ 39 Ar constraints for the “Grande Nappe”: The largest rhyolitic eruption from the Mont-Dore Massif (French Massif Central). Comptes Rendus Géoscience, Elsevier Masson, 2017, 349 (2), pp.71-80. ⟨10.1016/j.crte.2017.02.003⟩. ⟨hal-01515754⟩

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