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Structural, petrological and geochronological contribution to intracontinental tectonics of the European Variscan Belt (Sudetes, Vosges Mts)

Abstract : Intracontinental tectonic processes acting during Variscan orogeny are explored using a combination of structural geology, metamorphic petrology and geochronology. This approach is applied to study different levels of the orogenic crust in two Variscan massifs − the OrlicaŚnieżnik Dome (Sudetes) and the Vosges Mountains (NE France) − in order to decipher their Palaeozoic evolution. During the Devonian, the activity of subduction zones may have locally triggered back-arc opening, but more importantly generated crustal thickening within an intracontinental setting. In both massifs, the orogenic crust was consequently formed by the welding of autochtonous and allochtonous portions. During the subsequent Devonian- Carboniferous collision, the orogenic system underwent a polyphase tectono-metamorphic evolution. In the early Lower Carboniferous, vertical material transfers were achieved through crustal-scale folding and led to the juxtaposition of the buried middle crust with the extruded lower crust. It was followed by a localized flattening event which produced a major intra-orogenic boundary zone at mid-crustal level. The presence of such a zone allowed deformation decoupling between the upper and lower crust, and also favoured exhumation of the system during later extensional reactivation. In the late Lower Carboniferous, exhumation was simultaneously accommodated by a ductile thinning mechanism which operated under a coaxial regime in the core of the orogen, and by the activity of highly noncoaxial detachment systems which developed towards the margins of the orogenic belt. In the Variscan framework, the evolution of the Sudetes appears to be controlled by the closure of the Saxothuringian basin. Conversely, the Vosges basement initially recorded the influence of the quasi-orthogonal subduction zones of the Saxothuringian basin and the Palaeotethys Ocean, and later documented closure of the Rhenohercynian basin. The processes recognized in this work finally suggest that the character of intracontinental tectonics has not significantly changed throughout the entire Phanerozoic.
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Contributor : Etienne Skrzypek <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 14, 2013 - 1:28:28 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 2:08:03 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00773597, version 1



Etienne Skrzypek. Structural, petrological and geochronological contribution to intracontinental tectonics of the European Variscan Belt (Sudetes, Vosges Mts). Earth Sciences. Université de Strasbourg, 2011. English. ⟨tel-00773597⟩



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