Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Research article
28 Jan 2021
Research article |  | 28 Jan 2021

Extensional reactivation of the Penninic frontal thrust 3 Myr ago as evidenced by U–Pb dating on calcite in fault zone cataclasite

Antonin Bilau, Yann Rolland, Stéphane Schwartz, Nicolas Godeau, Abel Guihou, Pierre Deschamps, Benjamin Brigaud, Aurélie Noret, Thierry Dumont, and Cécile Gautheron

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Cited articles

Agard, P., Monie, P., Jolivet, L., and Goffé, B.: Exhumation of the Schistes Lustre´s complex: in situ laser probe 40Ar/39Ar constraints and implications for the Western Alps, J. Metamorphic Geol., 20, 599–618,, 2002. 
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Ault, A. K., Gautheron, C., and King, G. E.: Innovations in (U–Th)/He, fission track, and trapped charge thermochronometry with applications to earthquakes, weathering, surface-mantle connections, and the growth and decay of mountains, Tectonics, 38, 3705–3739,, 2019. 
Barnaby, R. J. and Rimstidt, J. D.: Redox conditions of calcite cementation interpreted from Mn and Fe contents of authigenic calcites, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 101, 795–804,<0795:RCOCCI>2.3.CO;2, 1989. 
Beaudoin, N., Huyghe, D., Bellahsen, N., Lacombe, O., Emmanuel, L., Mouthereau, F., and Ouanhnon, L.: Fluid systems and fracture development during syn-depositional fold growth: An example from the Pico del Aguila anticline, Sierras Exteriores, southern Pyrenees, Spain, J. Struct. Geol., 70, 23–38,, 2015. 
Short summary
As a result of the collision between the European and Apulian plates, the Alps have experienced several evolutionary stages. The Penninic frontal thrust (PFT) (major thrust) was associated with compression, and now seismic studies show ongoing extensional activity. Calcite mineralization associated with shortening and extensional structures was sampled. The last deformation stages are dated by U–Pb on calcite at ~ 3.5 and ~ 2.5 Ma. Isotope analysis evidences deep crustal fluid mobilization.