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Reconstitution de la morphogenèse Oligocène-Miocène des Alpes occidentales par une approche pluridisciplinaire

Abstract : The aim of this dissertation was to use a multidisciplinary approach, combining petrologic, geochemical and geo-thermochronologic analyses, to reconstruct the topographic and exhumational evolution of the Western Alps during Oligocene and Early Miocene times, in relation to regional geodynamic events. Because the sedimentary record of this evolution is preserved in the foreland basins on the both sides of the Western Alps in France and Italy, this approach allows identifying sediment provenance and exhumation rates in the drainage areas. Petrological analyses used here were macroscopic observations in the field (pebbles counts), thin section analyses, and Raman spectrometry on detrital serpentinite pebbles and serpentine sand grains. The different serpentine species (antigorite, lizardite etc.), can be traced back to specific source lithologies because the metamorphic grade of the rocks exposed in the Western Alps increases eastward, with antigorite (HT serpentine) bearing rocks in the eastern piedmont complex and mixed lizardite-antigorite (LT serpentine) in the western piedmont complex. Analysis of serpentine species in the foreland basin deposits on both sides of the Alps allows determining changes in the paleo-Durance and paleo-Dora Riparia drainage areas and the position of the drainage divide, which have not changed since the Early Miocene. Major and trace element analyses of non-metamorphic basalt pebbles from the Barrême basin hint at the Chenaillet (or equivalent) obducted ophiolite in the internal Western Alps as the most likely source. Fission-track (FT) analysis of detrital apatite and zircon were used to determine maximum and average exhumation rates during the Oligocene. A pulse of fast erosional exhumation at about 30±1 Ma had rates on the order of 1.5-2 km/Myr, while average rates were about 0.2-0.3 km/Myr. FT and U/Pb double dating of single zircons show that the signal of fast exhumation is not an artifact caused by volcanic contamination at around 30 Ma. The rapid creation of high relief and associated exhumation rates are related to isostatic surface uplift after slab break-off beneath the Western Alps at 35-30 Ma, followed by slab retreat which allowed emplacement of the Ivrea body vertical indenter that supports the high topography in the internal Western Alps.
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Sebastien Jourdan. Reconstitution de la morphogenèse Oligocène-Miocène des Alpes occidentales par une approche pluridisciplinaire. Sciences de la Terre. Université de Grenoble, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENU032⟩. ⟨tel-00819728⟩

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