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Tectono-metamorphic evolution of an evaporitic décollement as recorded by mineral and fluid geochemistry: The “Nappe des Gypses” (Western Alps) case study

Abstract : 16 Evaporites play a major role on the structuration of collisional orogens especially when they 17 act as décollement units. However, their exact pressure-temperature-deformation (P-T-d) paths 18 are poorly documented. In this study, the first direct P-T-d constraints of the "Nappe des 19 Gypses" formation (western French Alps) have been established. An innovative association of 20 structural geology, petrography, crystallochemistry, and detailed study of both fluid inclusions 21 and stable isotopes (C, O) analysis has been applied to this evaporitic facies. Geochemical 22 analysis shows that the "Nappe des Gypses" formation has recorded the three typical 23 metamorphic and deformational events of the Alps (namely D1, D2 and D3). These different 24 constraints allow the determination of the first determination of the P-T path for this unit. 25 Metamorphic peak conditions of the "Nappe des Gypses" are at 16.6 ± 2.3 kbars and 431°C ± 26 28°C. This formation was buried at similar conditions than the oceanic units. During the 27 exhumation path, the D1-D2 transition is reached at 350°C ± 20°C and 6.5 ± 1.8 kbars and the 28 D2-D3 transition is assumed to be at 259°C ± 24°C and 2.0 ± 1.0 kbars (Strzerzynski et al., 29 2012). Peak P-T conditions overlap those of the median Liguro-Piemontese units but are 30 different from those of the Briançonnais units. It implies 1) an active and crucial role of the 31 "Nappe des Gypses" during the exhumation of the Alpine oceanic complex. And 2) confirms the 32 allochthonous and more distal origin of the European Thetysian passive margin of the "Nappe 33 des Gypses" formation. Consideration of sulfates dehydration probably between 15.0 and 16.6 34 kbars and 200 and 300°C, allows to discuss pore pressure excess and its mechanical 35 consequences on the exhumation process. This process is very likely to amplify the 36 "décollement" effect of the evaporites and allow the nappe stack formation. 37 This illustrates the role of this formation as a décollement surface. This difference of 38 evolution highlights the major role of the evaporitic formations on the exhumation and 39 structuration of a collisional chain. Such methodology could contribute to decipher the role of 40 evaporites in the structural context of other collisional chains such as Himalaya, Pyrenees or 41 Zagros. 42
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Guillaume Barré, Pierre Strzerzynski, Raymond Michels, Stephane Guillot, Pierre Cartigny, et al.. Tectono-metamorphic evolution of an evaporitic décollement as recorded by mineral and fluid geochemistry: The “Nappe des Gypses” (Western Alps) case study. Lithos, Elsevier, 2020, 358-359, pp.105419. ⟨10.1016/j.lithos.2020.105419⟩. ⟨hal-02935010⟩

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