Project

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TOPOALPS - 4D kinematics of the Neogene western Alps (IP2)

English title TOPOALPS - 4D kinematics of the Neogene western Alps (IP2)
Applicant Mancktelow Neil S.
Number 134469
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.06.2011 - 28.02.2013
Approved amount 259'846.00
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Keywords (7)

structural geology; topography; exhumation; kinematics; geochnonology; Alps; 3-D modelling

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
This project will establish a regional kinematic database on which models for the Neogene topographic evolution of the Alps can be based and tested, within the framework of TOPOALPS and TOPO-EUROPE. The project concentrates on the Neogene kinematics of the Central and Western Alps, and more specifically on the most important Oligocene to Neogene structures and the interaction between them: the Periadriatic Fault system, the Rhone-Simplon Fault system and its continuation into the Western Alps, and the tectonics and (young) exhumation of the External Crystalline Massifs. The Periadriatic Fault system has had an important influence on the overall kinematics of the Alps since at least the Oligocene. The timing and kinematics of the Periadriatic Fault system in the Central and Eastern Alps is reasonably well established. However, several different models have been proposed for the continuation, kinematics and timing of this zone from Val d’Ossola to the southwest, with important implications for both the total strike slip displacement on this fault system and for the overall Neogene kinematics of the Western Alps. The project places special emphasis on the region around Mont Blanc, investigating the proposed continuation of the Rhone-Simplon Fault system to the southwest in this region, where there has been important Pliocene exhumation leading to the development of the highest and most spectacular topography in Europe. Results from an earlier study have established that young exhumation of the Mont Blanc massif is not controlled by discrete faults or shear zones at the immediate boundaries but is more distributed. The current continuation project will therefore also consider a broader area and regionally link the two more detailed studies from the Mont Blanc massif and the Simplon-Rhone and Periadriatic Fault systems.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
K–Ar dating of synkinematic clay gouges from Neoalpine faults of the Central, Western and Eastern Alps
Pleuger J., Mancktelow N., Zwingmann H., Manser M. (2012), K–Ar dating of synkinematic clay gouges from Neoalpine faults of the Central, Western and Eastern Alps, in Tectonophysics, 550-553, 1-16.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
9th Swiss Geoscience Meeting 11.11.2011 Zurich
7th Topo-Europe Workshop 06.09.2011 Davos


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
137510 A 4D Model of Neogene Exhumation in the Central Helvetic Alps 01.10.2011 Project funding
120502 TOPOALPS - 4D kinematics of the Neogene western Alps (IP2) 01.06.2008 Project funding (special)
146745 Interplay between Fracture and Flow during Localization of Deformation in the Middle and Lower Crust 01.09.2013 Project funding

Abstract

This continuation project builds on the extensive results of the original project, with the primary aim of establishing a regional kinematic database on which models for the Neogene topographic evolution of the Alps can be based and tested, within the framework of TOPOALPS and TOPO-EUROPE. The current project concentrates on the Neogene kinematics of the Central and Western Alps, and more specifically on the most important Oligocene to Neogene structures and the interaction between them: the Periadriatic Fault system, the Rhone-Simplon Fault system and its continuation into the Western Alps, and the tectonics and (young) exhumation of the External Crystalline Massifs. The Periadriatic Fault system has had an important influence on the overall kinematics of the Alps since at least the Oligocene. The timing and kinematics of the Periadriatic Fault system in the Central and Eastern Alps is reasonably well established. However, several different models have been proposed for the continuation, kinematics and timing of this zone from Valle d’Ossola to the southwest, with important implications for both the total strike slip displacement on this fault system and for the overall Neogene kinematics of the Western Alps. The project will also continue work in the region around Mont Blanc, investigating the proposed continuation of the Rhone-Simplon Fault system to the southwest in this region, where there has been important Pliocene exhumation leading to the development of the highest and most spectacular topography in Europe. Results from the initial study have established that young exhumation of the Mont Blanc Massif is not controlled by discrete faults or shear zones at the immediate boundaries but is more distributed. The current continuation project will therefore also consider a broader area and regionally link the more detailed studies from the Mont Blanc Massif and the Simplon-Rhone and Periadriatic Fault systems.
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