Vertical extrusion and horizontal channel flow of orogenic lower crust: key exhumation mechanisms in large hot orogens?
- Journal Article
A large database of structural, geochronological and petrological data combined with a Bouguer anomaly map is used to develop a two-stage exhumation model of deep-seated rocks in the eastern sector of the Variscan belt. An early sub-vertical fabric developed in the orogenic lower and middle crust during intracrustal folding followed by the vertical extrusion of the lower crustal rocks. These events were responsible for exhumation of the orogenic lower crust from depths equivalent to 18−20 kbar to depths equivalent to 8−10 kbar, and for coeval burial of upper crustal rocks to depths equivalent to 8–9 kbar. Following the folding and vertical extrusion event, sub-horizontal fabrics developed at medium to low pressure in the orogenic lower and middle crust during vertical shortening. Fabrics that record the early vertical extrusion originated between 350 and 340 Ma, during building of an orogenic root in response to SE-directed Saxothuringian continental subduction. Fabrics that record the later sub-horizontal exhumation event relate to an eastern promontory of the Brunia continent indenting into the rheologically weaker rocks of the orogenic root. Indentation initiated thrusting or flow of the orogenic crust over the Brunia continent in a north-directed sub-horizontal channel. This sub-horizontal flow operated between 330 and 325 Ma, and was responsible for a heterogeneous mixing of blocks and boudins of lower and middle crustal rocks and for their progressive thermal re-equilibration. The erosion depth as well as the degree of reworking decreases from south to north, pointing to an outflow of lower crustal material to the surface, which was subsequently eroded and deposited in a foreland basin. Indentation by the Brunia continental promontory was highly noncoaxial with respect to the SE-oriented Saxothuringian continental subduction in the Early Visean, suggesting a major switch of plate configuration during the Middle to Late Visean. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Pages / Article No.
SubjectBohemian Massif; Channel flow; Exhumation; Orogenic lower crust; Variscan belt
Organisational unit03592 - Schmidt, Max / Schmidt, Max
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