Miocene basement exhumation in the Central Alps recorded by detrital garnet geochemistry in foreland basin deposits

Stutenbecker, Laura; Tollan, Peter M. E.; Madella, Andrea; Lanari, Pierre

The Neogene evolution of the European Alps was characterized by the exhumation of crystalline basement, the so-called external crystalline massifs. Their exhumation presumably controlled the evolution of relief, distribution of drainage networks, and generation of sediment in the Central Alps. However, due to the absence of suitable proxies, the timing of their surficial exposure and thus the initiation of sediment supply from these areas are poorly constrained.

The northern Alpine foreland basin preserves the Oligocene to Miocene sedimentary record of tectonic and climatic adjustments in the hinterland. This contribution analyses the provenance of 25 to 14 Myr old alluvial fan deposits by means of detrital garnet chemistry. Unusually grossular- and spessartine-rich garnet is found (1) to be a unique proxy for identifying detritus from the external crystalline massifs and (2) to occur abundantly in ca. 14 Myr old deposits of the foreland basin. In contrast to previous assumptions, we therefore propose that the external massifs were already exposed to the surface ca. 14 Myr ago.

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Stutenbecker, Laura / Tollan, Peter M. E. / Madella, Andrea / et al: Miocene basement exhumation in the Central Alps recorded by detrital garnet geochemistry in foreland basin deposits. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Laura Stutenbecker et al.

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