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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Jun 2018

Research article | 05 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Linking Alpine deformation in the Aar Massif basement and its cover units – the case of the Jungfrau-Eiger Mountains (Central Alps, Switzerland)

David Mair, Alessandro Lechmann, Marco Herwegh, Lukas Nibourel, and Fritz Schnlunegger David Mair et al.
  • Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1+3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. The NW rim of the external Aar Massif was exhumed from ~10km depth to its present position at 4km elevation above sea level during several Alpine deformation stages. Different models have been proposed for the timing and nature of these stages. Recently proposed exhumation models for the central, internal Aar Massif differ from the ones established in the covering Helvetic sedimentary units. By updating pre-existing maps and collecting structural data, a structural map and tectonic section was reconstructed. Those were interpreted together with micro-structural data and peak metamorphic temperature estimates from collected samples to establish a framework suitable for both basement and cover. Temperatures at deformation ranged from 250°C to 330°C allowing for semi-brittle deformation in the basement rocks, while the calcite dominated sediments deform ductile at these conditions. Although field data allows to distinguish multiple deformation stages before and during the Aar Massifs rise, all related structures formed under similar P, T conditions at the investigated NW rim. We find that the exhumation occurred during 2 stages of shearing in the Aar Massif basement, which induced in the sediments first a phase of folding and then a period of thrusting, accompanied by the formation of a new foliation. We can link this uplift and exhumation history to recently published large-scale block extrusion models.

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