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Publication Detail
Mid-Cretaceous uplift and erosion on the northern margin of the Ligurian Tethys deduced from thermal history reconstruction
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Peyaud JB, Barbarand J, Carter A, Pagel M
  • Publication date:
    01/07/2005
  • Pagination:
    462, 474
  • Journal:
    International Journal of Earth Sciences
  • Volume:
    94
  • Issue:
    3
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    1437-3254
Abstract
The paleogeography during Early Cretaceous of the northern margin of the Ligurian Tethys is poorly constrained because of deformation and erosion during Pyrenean and Alpine orogenic phases. The present-day limit between Lower Cretaceous sediments in the South-East basin, located at the northwestern margin of the Ligurian Tethys, and basement rocks is the consequence of a protracted erosion history. Lower Cretaceous sediments observed today in the basin, even close to the present-day outcropping border, are characteristic of pelagic environments. A larger extent of a Lower Cretaceous cover on the basement must then be considered. This study focuses on the western part of this margin (the Causses basin), in the South of the Massif Central (France), using several thermochronometers and geothermometers to decipher the former extent of the sedimentary cover. Apatite fission track thermochronology on basement rocks surrounding the Causses basin suggests that these rocks cooled from temperatures higher than 110°C during the mid-Cretaceous. Average fluid inclusion homogenisation temperatures between 94°C and 108°C are recorded in calcite veins from outcropping Toarcian and Aalenian shales. In the shales, Tmax values, temperature obtained by Rock-Eval pyrolysis of organic matter, are in agreement with these elevated temperatures. Different explanations for these relatively high temperatures, which cannot be explained by the present-day sedimentary serie in the basin, have been tested using a 1D thermal modelling procedure (Genex). For a 95±10-mW/m2 paleoflux, thick sedimentary deposits (2.5±0.3 km) including 1.3±0.3 km of Lower Cretaceous sediments cover the South of the Massif Central; these formations have been subsequently eroded from mid-Cretaceous time onwards. This study confirms that the South of the Massif Central was a site of marine sedimentation during the Early Cretaceous where a thick sedimentary sequence was once deposited. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
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