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A 4D Model of Neogene Exhumation in the Central Alps

English title A 4D Model of Neogene Exhumation in the Central Alps
Applicant Mancktelow Neil S.
Number 109187
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 30.09.2008
Approved amount 177'118.00
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Keywords (7)

structural geology; exhumation; 3D modelling; ductile-brittle transition; Alps; fault; geochronology

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
This project investigates the 3D geometry and kinematics through time of the deformation associated with exhumation of the Central Alps from depths of 20km or more to the current surface. Such exhumation is associated with decompression and cooling and thus with a transition from flow of rocks at depth to brittle fracturing near the surface. A major field campaign has mapped the deformation features associated with the Simplon Fault Zone. This is the most important structure involved in exhumation of the Central Alps over the last 20 million years and can be followed from east of Domodossola in the south to the Rhone Valley in the north. The continuation of this zone to the north and south is not unequivocally established and particular attention was paid to these regions. Isotopic mineral ages, based on the natural decay of radioactive elements, allows us to constrain the timing and rate of movement on this major fault. Isotopic ages from clay-rich gouges in more distributed faults in the Central Alps, particularly from the new Gotthard Tunnel, also allow the timing of near-surface deformation, related to the development of current topography, to be established.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
121578 A 4D Model of Neogene Exhumation in the Central Helvetic Alps 01.10.2008 Project funding