Tertiary tectono-metamorphic evolution of the European margin during Alpine collision: Example of the Leventina Nappe (Central Alps, Switzerland)

Rütti, Roger (2008). Tertiary tectono-metamorphic evolution of the European margin during Alpine collision: Example of the Leventina Nappe (Central Alps, Switzerland) Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 101(S1), pp. 157-171. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 10.1007/s00015-008-1278-9

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the Leventina Nappe represents one of the lowermost exposed units in the Alpine nappe stack and corresponds to a slice of the European margin that was entrained into the Alpine continental accretionary prism during the tertiary tectonic event. this study yields details regarding the tectonic and metamor- phic history of the Leventina Nappe, through detailed analysis of structures and shear zone patterns, and the examination of the si-content of white mica along a north-south profile. the Leventina Nappe underwent three phases of ductile deformation. Foliation s1 is mostly sub-parallel to the regionally domi- nant structural fabric (the s2 foliation). s2 foliation is penetratively developed in the structurally higher portions of the Leventina Nappe toward the simano Nappe, while it is only weakly developed in the core of the Leventina Nappe. A 50 to 200 m wide mylonite zone, with a D2 top-to-NW sense of shear marks the boundary to the simano Nappe. throughout the Leventina Nappe only small-scale D2 shear bands (mm to cm wide) are observed, showing a top-to- NW sense of shear. Deformation phase D3 locally generated a vertical axial plane foliation (s3) associated with the large-scale D3 Leventina antiform. Microtextural evidence and phengite geobarometry were used to con- strain the temperature and pressure conditions of equilibration of the Leven- tina Gneisses. Highest si (pfu) values are preserved in the core of phengitic micas and reflect pressure and temperature conditions of around 8 kbar at 550 °c and 10 kbar at 650 °c in the northern and southern parts of the Leven- tina Nappe, respectively. Lower si (pfu) values from the rims of white micas correspond to a metamorphic pressure of ca. 5 kbar during the exhumation of the unit. these metamorphic conditions are related to the underthrusting of the thinned European margin into the continental accretionary prism during late Eocene time. these new data allow us to propose a kinematic model for the Leventina Nappe during the tertiary Alpine tectonics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering > Institute for Urban Development and Infrastructure > Geotechnics and Natural Phenomena


Rütti, Roger;
Marquer, Didier and
Thompson, Alan Bruce


Q Science > QE Geology


Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel






Roger Rütti

Date Deposited:

10 May 2021 15:26

Last Modified:

10 May 2021 15:26

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