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Thermo-mechanical evolution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle in an extensional environment Insights from the Beni Bousera peridotite massif (Rif belt, Morocco)

Erwin Frets 1 
1 Manteau et Interfaces
Géosciences Montpellier
Abstract : The mantle deformation processes that control the thinning and break-up of continental lithosphere remain poorly understood. Our knowledge is restricted to either lithospheric scale thermo-mechanical models --that use experimentally derived flow laws--, geophysical imaging and/or rare xenoliths from active continental rifts, such as the East African Rift System. The originality of this work relies on the study of the two largest outcrops of diamond facies subcontinental lithospheric mantle in the world: the Beni Bousera and Ronda peridotite massifs in N Morocco and S Spain, respectively. The structures and petrologic and metamorphic zoning preserved in these massifs --implying a polybaric and polythermal evolution-- provides a unique opportunity to investigate the thermo-mechanical evolution of thick subcontinental lithospheric mantle in extensional settings. In this thesis we studied the deformation mechanisms in both peridotites and pyroxenites to constrain the modes of exhumation of subcontinental lithospheric mantle from garnet-, to spinel-, and finally, to plagioclase lherzolite facies conditions. We combined field mapping of tectonometamorphic domains and structural mapping of ductile structures, microstructural analysis, crystal preferred orientations (CPO) measurements and conventional thermobarometric calculations and thermodynamic modeling (Perple_X) to unravel the pressure and temperature conditions of deformation. We showed that exhumation from garnet- to spinel lherzolite facies conditions was accommodated by fast shearing --in thermal disequilibrium--along a lithospheric scale transtensional shear zone. In this context, the petrological zoning and the large temperature gradient (ca. 100ºC/km) preserved in the Beni Bousera massif represent the mechanical juxtaposition of progressively deeper and hotter lithospheric levels at depths of ca. 60 km in the latest Oligocene (ca. 25 Ma). Final exhumation from spinel- to plagioclase facies lherzolite and emplacement into the crust is best recorded in the Ronda massif where it occurred by inversion and lithospheric scale folding of the highly attenuated continental lithosphere in a back-arc region, probably in relation with southward slab rollback and subsequent collision with the palaeo-Maghrebien passive margin in the early Miocene (21-23 Ma).
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Submitted on : Friday, December 21, 2012 - 11:55:43 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 4:54:17 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, December 18, 2016 - 7:15:20 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00767700, version 1



Erwin Frets. Thermo-mechanical evolution of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle in an extensional environment Insights from the Beni Bousera peridotite massif (Rif belt, Morocco). Petrography. Université Montpellier 2; Universidad de Granada, 2012. English. ⟨tel-00767700⟩



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