Thermal history of the central Gotthard and Aar massifs, European Alps: Evidence for steady state, long-term exhumation - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research Year : 2010

Thermal history of the central Gotthard and Aar massifs, European Alps: Evidence for steady state, long-term exhumation

J. Reinecker
  • Function : Author
M. Danišík
  • Function : Author
M. Rahn
  • Function : Author
W. Frisch
  • Function : Author
C. Spiegel
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Quantifying long-term exhumation rates is a prerequisite for understanding the geodynamic evolution of orogens and their exogenic and endogenic driving forces. Here we reconstruct the exhumation history of the central Aar and Gotthard external crystalline massifs in the European Alps using apatite and zircon fission track and apatite (U-Th)/He data. Age-elevation relationships and time-temperature paths derived from thermal history modeling are interpreted to reflect nearly constant exhumation of ∼0.5 km/Ma since ∼14 Ma. A slightly accelerated rate (∼0.7 km/Ma) occurred from 16 to 14 Ma and again from 10 to 7 Ma. Faster exhumation between 16 and 14 Ma is most likely linked to indentation of the Adriatic wedge and related thrusting along the Alpine sole thrust, which, in turn, caused uplift and exhumation in the external crystalline massifs. The data suggest nearly steady, moderate exhumation rates since ∼14 Ma, regardless of major exogenic and endogenic forces such as a change to wetter climate conditions around 5 Ma or orogen-perpendicular extension initiated in Pliocene times. Recent uplift and denudation rates, interpreted to be the result of climate fluctuations and associated increase in erosional efficiency, are nearly twice this ∼0.5 km/Ma paleoexhumation rate.
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Dates and versions

insu-00549288 , version 1 (10-03-2021)

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C. Glotzbach, J. Reinecker, M. Danišík, M. Rahn, W. Frisch, et al.. Thermal history of the central Gotthard and Aar massifs, European Alps: Evidence for steady state, long-term exhumation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2010, 115, pp.03017. ⟨10.1029/2009JF001304⟩. ⟨insu-00549288⟩
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