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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Feb 2019

Submitted as: research article | 05 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Constraining metamorphic dome exhumation and fault activity through hydrothermal monazite-(Ce)

Christian A. Bergemann1,2, Edwin Gnos2, Alfons Berger3, Emilie Janots4, and Martin J. Whitehouse5 Christian A. Bergemann et al.
  • 1University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2Natural History Museum of Geneva, Switzerland
  • 3University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 4ISTerre University of Grenoble, France
  • 5Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. Zoned monazite-(Ce) from Alpine fissures/clefts is used to gain new insights into the exhumation history of the Central Alpine Lepontine metamorphic dome, and timing of deformation along the Rhone-Simplon fault zone on the dome's western termination. These hydrothermal monazites-(Ce) directly date deformation and changes in physiochemical conditions through crystallization ages, in contrast to commonly employed cooling-based methods. The 480 SIMS measurement ages from 20 individual crystals record ages over a time interval between ~ 19 and 5 Ma, with individual grains recording ages over a lifetime of 2 to 7.5 Ma. The age range combined with age distribution and internal crystal structure help to distinguish between areas whose deformational history was dominated by distinct tectonic events or continuous exhumation. The combination of this age data with geometrical considerations and spatial distribution give a more precise exhumation/cooling history for the area. In the east and south of the study region, the units underwent monazite-(Ce) growth at 19–12.5 and 16.5–10.5 Ma, followed by a central group of monazite-(Ce) ages at 15–10 Ma and the movements and related cleft monazites-(Ce) are youngest at the western border with 13–7 Ma. A last phase around 8–7 Ma is limited to clefts of the Simplon normal fault and related strike slip faults as the Rhone and Rhine-Rhone faults. The large data-set spread over significant metamorphic structures shows that the opening of clefts, fluid flow and monazite-(Ce) stability is direct linked to the geodynamic evolution in space and time.

Christian A. Bergemann et al.
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Christian A. Bergemann et al.
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