Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 www.elsevier.com/locate/tecto

Neogene remagnetization of normal polarity in the Late Jurassic black shales from the southern Subalpine Chains (French Alps). Evidence for late anticlockwise rotations
Charles Aubourg a,Ł , Corinne Chabert-Pelline b
a b

Departement des Sciences de la Terre, ESA 1671, Universite Cergy Pontoise 8, Le Campus, 95031 Cergy, France ´ ´ Institut de Geodynamique, URA 1279 CNRS, Universite de Nice, Sophia Antipolis Bat. 3, 250 Av. Albert Einstein, ´ ´ 06560 Valbonne, France Received 9 September 1998; accepted 8 April 1999

Abstract This study presents paleomagnetic investigations of 23 sites from the Late Jurassic black shales, the so-called Terres Noires, that outcrop in the southern Subalpine Chains (SSC). Six sites are located in the Diois, six sites in the Trieves ` and Devoluy, and eleven sites in the Digne nappe. The magnetizations are weak and are carried by titanomagnetites. We ´ found generally one component per site within the medium range of temperature (200º to 500ºC). All magnetizations are characterized by the lack of reverse polarity. The directions of magnetization are generally better grouped in geographic coordinates in the Trieves, the Devoluy and the Digne nappe. Fold testing at one site from the Trieves demonstrated a late ` ´ ` synfolding acquisition of magnetization. In contrast, pre-tilting magnetizations are suggested in the Diois and locally, in the Digne nappe. Given an average inclination close to late Tertiary expected inclinations in geographic coordinates, we propose that these magnetizations are Neogene overprints. Our results point to two major results. (1) The lack of reverse polarity which is puzzling during the Neogene where 50% of the magnetic field is reverse. (2) The discovery of quite systematic anticlockwise rotations. These anticlockwise rotations do not occur in the Diois and are larger in the southern part of the Digne nappe. We presume that these rotations were active during the late stage of Alpine folds emplacement and are still active today. © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Subalpine Chains; paleomagnetism; Neogene remagnetization; anticlockwise rotations

1. Introduction We present in this study a paleomagnetic investigation of late Jurassic shales (Terres Noires) carried out in the southern Subalpine Chains (SSC). This study complements paleomagnetic results from the northern Subalpine Chains (NSC) where a pre-folding remanent magnetization exclusively of normal poŁ Corresponding

author. E-mail: aubourg@u-cergy.fr

larity was documented in the Terres Noires (5 sites, D D 13º, I D 56º, Þ95 D 7º, K D 42) (Aubourg and Rochette, 1992). This stable component pre-dates therefore the principal folding event (i.e. the latest Miocene) and it is not statistically different from the Late Jurassic or Tertiary dipole magnetization of stable Europe (Besse and Courtillot, 1991). Aubourg and Rochette (1992) proposed that this pre-folding magnetization is primary but did not rule out a secondary origin during the early Tertiary.

0040-1951/99/$ – see front matter © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 0 4 0 - 1 9 5 1 ( 9 9 ) 0 0 1 4 5 - 6

) Fold axes are redrawn from the structural map provided by Gratier et al. 1. Arrows with open circles in the northern Subalpine Chains are pre-tilting components documented in the Terres Noires (Aubourg and Rochette. Thick arrows: declination of ` ´ the components. Arrows with open triangles are components after bedding correction of Permian to Lias rocks (Heller et al. 1996).. The published paleomagnetic data are shown.474 C. 1989. C. 1992). Di D Diois. Aubourg. 1973) from the External Crystalline Massifs and the Dauphinois Fig. (1996) as late tilting during tectonic exhumation of the Liassic rocks. Thin arrows: expected paleofield. Tr D Trieves. T D Taillefer.. . Note that deviation from the 20-Ma paleofield is essentially interpreted by Crouzet et al. 1. Dn D Digne Nappe. Structural map of the western Alps. Tectonic transport direction taken from synthesis proposed by Meckel et al. (Inset: location of the studied area in France. Henry. (1997). Other paleomagnetic data from Permian rocks (Westphal. (1989). 1992). Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 The discovery of pre-folding magnetization from the northern Subalpine Chains revealed the absence of large vertical-axis rotation as schemat- ically represented in Fig. Arrows with filled triangles are in-situ components (Crouzet et al. De D Devoluy.

1. Crouzet et al.5 in diameter) with a portable drill and oriented these cores with a magnetic compass. belonging to the Pyrenean–Provencal phase (Lemoine. Henry (1992) proposed an Eocene age for the anticlockwise rotation of the Taillefer (western EMC) but he did not rule out a more recent age. 1990. (1989) and Henry (1992) provided a review of the scarce collection of paleomagnetic data. Vertical-axis rotations are documented forming a complex pattern where anticlockwise rotations apparently dominate (Fig. (3) Late Oligocene to postMiocene NW–SE folds and thrust accompanied by regional cleavage and low-grade metamorphism as high as 300ºC and 3 kbar (Siddans. Preliminary paleomagnetic investigation during the late 70’s revealed pervasive overprints (K.1. 1996) support also the lack of vertical-axis rotations (Fig. commun. 1979): (1) pre-Senonian (80–90 Ma) (EW to NNE–SSW) folds in the Devoluy. and Digne nappe (Fig. Some models predicted vertical-axis anticlockwise rotations in the SSC (Vialon et al. Devoluy. 1990). In the Southern Subalpine Chains (SSC) and north of this area. Divergent thrusting directions are observed (Fig. Aubourg. 1). 1993). Geological setting and sampling The SSC constitute the southwestward limb of the arc of the Subalpine Chains around the EMC (Fig. Southward displacement along these strike-slip faults increases from 3–4 km to the west at the Clery Fault (Arnaud. pers. sandstones and spilites and are concentrated in internal nappes and close to the basement outcropping in the External Crystalline Massifs (EMC) (Fig. 1989. 1989). the so-called Terres Noires. Cleavage is generally absent or incipient. pers.. Buttler. 1988. arguing for a poor agreement between thrusts and dextral strike-slip fault geometries. Their ¸ amplitude decreases to the north and to the east (Gratier et al. 1). 1989. 1979.. Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 475 Liassic shales (Lamarche et al. Platt et al. Table 1) gave suitable paleomagnetic results. 1977). ` ´ Three folding events are generally recognized (Sid- dans. 1). NW-directed and SW-directed shortening are localized in the NSC and SSC. commun. C. Laj. This is the main SW-directed alpine phase. France) with a 2G-3axes cryogenic magnetometer . No paleomagnetic data are yet published on the SSC. Several models are proposed to account for this divergence (Meckel et al.. 1997). 1 (after the structural map proposed by Gratier et al. Thirty-seven (37) sites were sampled for paleomagnetic and magnetic fabric investigations. 1981) to 20–30 km at the ´ southeast ending with the southward emplacement of the Digne nappe (Gidon and Pairis.C. Only 23 sites (Fig. (1989) considered the main phase of arc formation as having occurred from 40 to 15 Ma. Henry. 1986). The complex pattern of non-coaxial folding events in the SSC is portrayed in Fig. 1989).. Rock types range from clay-rich limestones to black shales but a large majority of sites consist of a marly formation.. or independent active transport directions through time (Meckel et al. 2. Klootwijk. large scale partitioning of deformation (Fry. 1997). Platt et al. 3. 1992). All sites but one presented in this study belong to the Callovian–Oxfordian black shales. These clay-rich formations have a total thickness of about 500 to 2000 m and are overlain by massive Tithonian limestone. 1). 1989. Gratier et al. The rocks studied are Permian to Triassic shales. Another distinguishable feature in the SSC is the dextral strike slip faults which cut off the southern subalpine cover (Fig. 1). Meckel et al. 1989. respectively. 1972).. C. These are a radially forming arc (Siddans. (1997) ruled out the domino model of rotation (McKenzie and Jackson. 1979). 1992). Conditions of field exposure were fine and we selected fresh outcrops along road cuts and creeks. 1).. (2) Paleocene to ´ Eocene (60–40 Ma) E–W folds. Trieves. The present study constitutes the first work which deals with the Late Jurassic Terres Noires from the SSC. The southern Subalpine Chain is comprised of the Diois.. Note that the Digne nappe was emplaced during the Early Miocene to Pliocene (Siddans. Paleomagnetic results 3. Heller et al. Site DI2 belongs to the Lias Formation of the Digne nappe.... 1). Gratier et al.. Methodology All measurements of remanent magnetization were made in a shielded room (CFR laboratory. We drilled eight to sixteen standard cores (2. 1986).

With typical values in the range . Therefore. AF treatment (after an initial heating at 120ºC) was not capable of resolving the components of magnetization as already found (Aubourg and Rochette.476 Table 1 Paleomagnetic results Sites Bedding C. 1990) are used when possible. PCA=GC: principal component=great circle analysis. 3. 1991).3 in geographic coordinates and after bedding correction (using strike of the bedding for fold axis). 306E46 75S74 fold 140W8 140W8 207W49 123S16 48S35 310E30 350E33 318E50 320E50 290N61 25E53 50S30 255N54 328E30 260N60 115S51 115S51 300–500ºC 0–300ºC 300–500ºC 0–300ºC 300–500ºC 300–500ºC 300–500ºC 0–400ºC 80–350ºC 20–200ºC 300–500ºC 300–500ºC 120–500ºC 120–500ºC 0–320ºC 0–500ºC 50–500ºC 200–400ºC 220–420ºC 50–460ºC 100–500ºC 0–420ºC 300–420ºC 220–290ºC 160–350ºC 160–350ºC 6=0 5=1 7=1 7=0 4=0 11=0 6=0 6=0 16=0 6=0 6=0 8=0 6=0 5=3 5=0 11=1 5=0 3=3 8=1 6=0 5=1 4=0 7=0 7=0 7=0 6=0 0=6 6=0 7=0 7=0 4=0 11=0 6=0 6=0 16=0 6=0 6=0 4=4 3=3 4=4 3=2 12=0 2=3 0=6 5=4 6=0 3=3 0=4 0=7 7=0 7=0 0=6 358 322 10 327 31 41 359 308 321 4 307 334 3 327 321 314 313 263 326 335 357 215 322 235 359 21 Bedding: strike (right-hand rule). (Enterprise Ltd). Results of the Fisher statistics calculated from PaleoMag freeware v. 1995. Alternating field (AF) and thermal demagnetization were performed with a Schoensdet (peak values of AF 100 mT) and a shielded Pyrox furnace. K : dispersion parameter.2. the magnetic susceptibility ranges from 10 ð 10 6 SI in limestone to 1000 ð 10 6 SI in the marly formation. Treatment: range of temperature where stable component is defined. Jones.i/ polarity samples. Previous susceptibility monitoring during heating in the Terres Noires (Aubourg and Rochette. Fold test statistical parameters SCOS2 and SCOS1 (McFadden and McElhinny. To this purpose. 1980). I : inclination. C.n/ and reverse . only thermal demagnetization was used to retrieve stable components of the Terres Noires. quadrant. Aubourg. 1992). D: declination. 1992) showed drastic changes in the magnetic mineralogy (pyrite to magnetite) during heating in the Terres Noires after 350ºC (Aubourg and Rochette. Rock magnetism The magnetic mineralogy of the Terres Noires has been already described (Aubourg et al. respectively. 1992). 2. Þ95 : confidence angle at 95%. Components of magnetization are retrieved both by using principal component analysis and occasionally from remagnetization circles (Kirshvink. In this study.3 developed by C. dip.. We present stable components before and after bedding correction using the bedding strike. Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 Treatment n–i PCA=GC In-situ coordinates D I 25 41 58 45 48 40 70 72 52 61 52 58 39 38 46 31 30 54 47 30 38 29 48 50 36 11 Þ95 8 17 10 10 10 7 25 4 9 6 10 8 7 10 20 5 19 19 10 6 10 3 15 7 14 5 K 120 17 31 41 88 42 8 239 19 117 41 61 102 32 17 72 22 23 31 114 56 2631 24 85 17 284 Tectonic coordinates D 352 176 34 345 16 41 23 177 335 360 301 326 353 350 342 339 340 1 345 18 23 248 6 300 320 14 I 30 8 40 46 41 40 28 30 53 63 52 10 52 72 32 49 25 64 1 57 57 46 29 41 59 50 Þ95 8 48 10 10 10 7 25 5 10 4 9 8 7 11 20 4 21 19 11 5 10 22 15 7 14 5 K 121 26 30 41 28 42 8 163 15 199 45 61 101 27 18 97 18 22 27 172 57 68 24 81 17 367 S2 S3 S4 S5 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S12 S12 S13 S14 S16 DI1 DI2 DI4 DI5 DI6 DI7 DI8 DI9 DI10 DI11 DI12 DI12 152W13 310E89 340E28 230N17 230N17 horiz. we used the freeware PaleoMag v 2. We did 15 to 20 steps pilot demagnetization on one to two specimens per site. n–i: number of normal .

We present the ensemble of results for the Diois to Trieves–Devoluy region. Site S7 presents a poorly defined component of magnetization. The magnetic susceptibility (10 6 SI) is also shown. Site S3 shows a compatible inclination in geographic coordinates. 2) show a large occurrence of titanomagnetites (blocking temperature less than 500ºC) as well as traces of iron sulfides presumably pyrrhotite (blocking temperature less than 320ºC). Sites S2 to S7 are located in the Diois massif (six sites). all stable magnetizations of normal polarity group in the northern quadrant. 1). 4). (4) Only one magnetic component is generally present except for samples S12-7. Bulk results (Table 1) present the same behavior. The MT component is in the northeastern quadrant. both declination and inclination are abnormal. the ferromagnetic content of the Terres Noires is very low. Expected inclinations in the area range from 44º (Late Jurassic) to 63º (modern dipole). only one component is isolated through thermal heating except at sites S5 and S12 where a low temperature (LT: NRM 300ºC) and medium temperature components (MT: 300ºC–500ºC) are extracted. Consequently. Aubourg. K F is ferromagnetic susceptibility). The LT component has a rather weak inclination and remains in the northwestern quadrant. i. (2) There is generally a bad resolution after heating at 350–400ºC.K ARM is anhysteretic susceptibility. These sites are located in the western part of the Diois massif. Sites S8 to S16 belong to the Trieves and ` Devoluy massifs (six sites).C.3. This is due to mineralogical transformation that leads to the creation of a new ferromagnetic phase. Only samples S16-4 and DI6-1 show reverse components. Site S2 presents an abnormal low inclination before and after bedding correction. The following behavior can be observed: (1) AF demagnetization has a limited efficiency (sample DI10-2)..3. Expected declinations range between 353º (Cretaceous) and 12º (Late Jurassic). After bedding correction. after bedding correction. Generally. Magnetization at site S4 is not statistically different from the late Tertiary or modern dipole. of the order of 0. 1995). 1982) as seen by the mean value of the ratio of K ARM =K F D 1:4 š 0:8 . S6 and S7 after bedding correction. ´ In the Diois massif (Fig. 1991). the clay fraction (Rochette. 2. and finally for the Digne ` ´ nappe. Typical examples (samples from sites S2 and S11) of stepwise demagnetization of isothermal remanent magnetization at 2 T (IRMs). S5. Site S6 has a magnetization in the northeastern quadrant with rather weak inclination. Site S5 shows two components (LT and MT) of magnetization. C. 3. We can see that less than 5% of sample components possess a reverse polarity.. 200 to 300 ð 10 6 SI. Results We present the typical demagnetization pattern of selected samples (Fig. Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 477 Fig. However. Devoluy ` ´ Twelve sites are located in this region (Fig. The main ferromagnetic fraction consists essentially of titanomagnetites within the PSD size range (King et al. we plot the expected magnetizations for stable Europe from the Late Jurassic to late Tertiary (Besse and Courtillot. . Diois–Trieves. the magnetic susceptibility is dominantly controlled by the matrix susceptibility. Stepwise thermal demagnetizations of isothermal remanent magnetization at saturation (Fig. 3.e. S16-4 and DI6-1. and the magnitude of magnetization is weak (10 3 to 10 4 A=m).1.01% (Aubourg et al. To check the consistency of declination and inclination of the average magnetizations. Note that there is an apparent good grouping of magnetizations at sites S4. 3). (3) There are few occurrences of reverse polar- ity. this magnetization moves in the northeastern quadrant. 1987).

Examples of Zijderveld plots in geographic coordinates. 3. Aubourg. Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 Fig.478 C. . Tick units are 10 4 A=m. C. Black (open) symbols represent horizontal (vertical) projection.

K D 48. SCOS2 D 3. two components of magnetization are depicted. all magnetizations group well in the northwestern quadrant (Fig. The minimum value of SCOS2 is obtained at 69% of complete unfolding (Fig. The bedding is almost horizontal so that bedding correction does not . 4. C. Paleomagnetic results from the Diois (6 sites). At site S12 (Fig.01). A complete bedding test is negative according to the test of McFadden and McElhinny (1990) (Fig. Þ95 D 7º. Þ95 D 6º. there are six sites in the Trieves and Devoluy. 6C.C. This site is located close to a strike-slip fault. Þ95 D 6º. This fold presumably belongs to the main alpine SW compression. In geographic ` ´ coordinates. SCOS2 D 5. n D 12. At site S9. and deformation is moderate. 5). n D 12.7). K D 33. 6B. sampling was performed in a gentle fold of 50 m length oriented WNW–ESE and thus a fold test can be applied (Fig. which suggests a syn-folding magnetization. Fig. 4. Site S9 displays an LT component in the northwestern quadrant in situ (Fig. 5). I D 61º. To the east of the Diois massif. Circles indicate 95% confidence. 6). D D 322º. S8). Data are shown in geographic coordinates and after bedding correction. n D 12. with the development of cleavage in the clay formation. K D 62. Same legend as Fig. 6A. SCOS2 D 0. Aubourg. I D 64º. I D 52º. Site S8 shows abnormal inclination. Equal-area stereo-projection. 5. two sites scatter significantly (S13. D D 322º. Also shown are the expected magnetizations for stable Europe from Late Jurassic to late Tertiary. Dots are plotted in the lower hemisphere. D D 321º.2). Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 479 Fig. After bedding correction. Paleomagnetic results from the Trieves and Devoluy (6 ` ´ sites).

4. (B) 69% unfolding. After bedding correction. Site S13 shows a magnetization very close to the magnetizations observed at sites S9 and S12. In contrast. They have the same polarity. 7). Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 Fig. change significantly the direction of the component. DI6. In geographic coordinates. the magnetization at sites DI5. Magnetization at site S14 is northerly directed.480 C. but after tectonic correction. except at site DI9 (Fig. this MT component has a compatible inclination. Is that the case in the SSC? Can we expect to have pre-folding magnetization? The only fold test performed at site S9 (Fig. 1990) is applied in this site. These clay limestones to clay exhibit subtle cleavage and remagnetization processes are likely. DI11 and DI12 are more realistic. and present the same type of magnetization. Note that sites S14 and S16 are located in the western part of the Trieves. However. Inclinations of sites DI9. 1992).2. DI7 and DI8 moves very close to the late Tertiary dipole after bedding correction. only the magnetization at site DI10 moves close to the northern direction.3. Fold testing (McFadden and McElhinny. In the NSC. In the southern flank of the Digne nappe. S12 and S13 in geographic coordinates. its inclination is rather weak. but declinations are still largely anticlockwise deviated. the magnetizations are well grouped in the northwestern quadrant (Fig. the inclination is too weak. 6. Discussion The remanent magnetizations of Late Jurassic shales from the southern Subalpine Chains are similar to those observed in the northern Subalpine Chains. After bedding correction. Magnetization at site S16 in geographic coordinates is close to those of sites S9. (A) In-situ coordinates. Compared to the magnetization expected for stable Europe. 6) reveals rather a magnetization acquired during the . Sites DI5. The LT component is close to the modern dipole. the declination of these magnetizations remains in the northwestern quadrant with rather weak inclinations at sites DI1 and DI4. sites DI10. Sites DI1. C. in particular for sites DI11 and DI9. After bedding correction. and stable components are observed essentially at a medium range of temperature (300ºC to 500ºC). its declination is northerly with a steep inclination. DI2 and DI4. ` 3. They scatter after bedding correction. 4. DI2 and DI4 are close to each other. a pre-folding magnetization was extracted (Aubourg and Rochette. the magnetization at site DI6 shows abnormal inclination. we present paleomagnetic results from the northern part of the nappe (seven sites DI1–DI8) and from the southern part of the nappe (four sites DI9–DI12). Paleomagnetic results at site S9. After bedding correction. Aubourg. Same legend as Fig. The MT component groups within the northwestern quadrant. Along the north-tosouth limit of the nappe. Digne nappe In the Digne nappe. large anticlockwise deviations of declinations are observed. Note that Liassic site DI2 has a very stable component from NRM up to 530ºC. DI11 and DI12 show magnetization of rather poor quality. (C) 100% unfolding. and its inclination is more in agreement with late Tertiary inclination after bedding correction. DI7 and DI8 are situated further north in respect to sites DI1. 8).

In addition. sites DI7. late stage of folding (69%). 7. C. Fig. D D 15º. Paleomagnetic results from the southern part of the Digne nappe (4 sites). Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 481 Fig. Þ95 D 12º). Same legend as Fig. but remain statistically compatible. In the Diois. DI4. Aubourg.and post-folding magnetizations are apparently detected in the Late Jurassic clay-rich rocks from the SSC. sites S3. Paleomagnetic results from the northern branch of the Digne nappe (7 sites). several aspects plead for an early acquisition of magnetization. Þ95 D 11º). I D 60º.C. the western sites (S3 to S7) group significantly in the northeastern quadrant after bedding correction (four sites. pre-. This suggests a rather late to post-folding acquisition of the magnetization. K D 91. I D 38º. D D 28º. Note that inclinations in geographic coordinates of the same sites are in better agreement with the Late Jurassic to late Tertiary inclinations. DI8 and DI5 group also significantly close to an early Tertiary pole (three sites. K D 43. Along the N–S flank of the Digne nappe. Therefore. . Same legend as Fig. DI6 and DI10 exhibit weak inclination after bedding correction (Table 1). 4. Note that these sites are close to the northern Subalpine Chains where pre-folding magnetization was extracted. S13. In contrast. 4. syn. DI1. 8. Mean incli- nations are weak in comparison to those expected for a Late Jurassic inclination.

Arrows show the declination in geographic ` ´ ´ coordinates (black arrows) and after bedding correction (gray arrows).. (1996) observed that these overprints are pre-. The direction and inclination of the late Tertiary expected magnetization are shown (black thin line). Rouvier et al. Kechra et al. 1998). located southwestward to the SSC (Rouvier et al. also observed in the NSC. Examples of pervasive mono-polarity magnetizations are also observed in to the Western Subetics (Spain) (Villalain et al. Aubourg.and post-folding remagnetizations in the Subalpine Chains. In this regard. All these studies revealed pervasive remagnetization of exclusively normal polarity. . Faults (thick gray segments) and fold trends (thin gray segments) are plotted. it is interesting to compare our results to recent paleomagnetic investigation performed in the central and western subalpine basins. C.482 C. 1996. Consequently. (1998) and Katz et al. In these two examples. The lack of reverse polarity suggests that the period of fluid migration took place very rapidly within a time frame of less than 1 Ma. Synthesis of paleomagnetic results in the Diois. In contrast. to account for the large occurrence of normal polarity in pre-folding syn. Therefore. we believe that normal polarity magnetizations observed in the southern Subalpine Chains correspond rather to Neogene overprints than to primary early magnetizations. 1995). 1996) and at the Isparta Angle (Turkey) (Morris and Robertson. Morris and Robertson (1993) suggested that the Isparta remagnetization is a CRM produced by precipitation of authigenic magnetites from migrating orogenic fluids. the inclinations (in average I ³ 53º.or post-folding. (1996) proposed that the post-Eocene remagnetization resulted from a large fluid circulation during orogenic phases. It is possible that magnetizations observed in the Late Jurassic clay rocks from the Subalpine Chains and basin correspond to a mixture of ‘primary’ magnetizations and early to late Tertiary remagnetization. it is difficult to invoke tim- Fig. in geographic coordinates) favor rather a Neogene period. Villalain et al. Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 Lack of reverse polarity is a puzzling feature.). In general.. Trieves (Tri. Katz et al. The length of the arrows is proportional to the inclination (short D steeply dipping). 1998. Kechra et al.. syn. 1993).. (1998) proposed an acquisition of a chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) during maximum burial diagenesis of smectite during the Cretaceous. 9. the authors concluded that pervasive remagnetization had occurred. Katz et al. It appears therefore that the Late Jurassic shales from the entire Subalpine Chains and from subalpine basins exhibit a normal polarity.) and Devoluy (Dev. The Neogene is characterized by equally imparted normal and reverse polarities with a maximum duration time less than 1 Ma (Cande and Kent. (1998) have studied also Late Jurassic shales.

the process of remagnetization should be short and less than 1 Ma. In the Trieves and Devoluy areas. We suggest that remagnetizations at sites DI1. systematic anticlockwise deviations are ´ observed in the Digne nappe (Fig. The exact significance of these anticlockwise rotations observed in the SSC is difficult to appreciate. We have no explanation for such large occurrences of normal polarity and current works are in progress to determine whether short reverse polarity components are present or not. The 16º š 12º clockwise deviation of the western sites S3 to S7 after bedding correction may suggest slight clockwise rotations. These two sites are located in the western part of the Trieves. Anticlockwise rotations are also suggested by the divergence of tectonic transport directions (TTD) (Fig. where ` a late syn-folding magnetization has been identified. C. there is a quite systematic anticlockwise deviation of the declination. Aubourg. but it is difficult to argue for a certain degree of rotation because inclinations remain acceptable before and after bedding rotation. We now discuss the possibility of rotation along a vertical axis in the SSC. Large magnitudes of rotation are observed in the southern part of the nappe. DI4 and DI6 are recorded during the late stage of folding and may account for about 40º anticlockwise rotations. The TTD from the NSC and SSC are respectively NW-directed and SW-directed. ` ´ there is a significant westward deviation of magnetization except at sites S14 and possibly S16 (after bedding correction). do they mirror a pervasive anticlockwise rotation of the SSC? Paleomagnetic data suggest the dominance of anticlockwise rotation close to the SSC. except in the Diois area. or Fig. 11A). Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 483 ing of remagnetization always bracketed in a period of normal polarity. Henry (1992) documented also anticlockwise rotations (Fig.C. 11A) which overthrust the . Southward and close to the Pelvoux and Taillefer basement. However. Do they correspond to rotation of small blocks. DI2. commun. S12. Recent unpublished paleomagnetic data from the western internal zone (Marbre de Guillestre) revealed the occurrence of recent (post-tilting) anticlockwise rotations (J. pers. Merle and Brun (1984) documented continuous anticlockwise rotation of the TTD at the Embrunais nappe (Fig. The Diois (Fig. Synthesis of paleomagnetic results in the Digne nappe.C. 1). It is possible that magnetizations at sites S8. In general. 1998). 9.. At site S9. A plausible hypothesis is to consider that dominant anticlockwise rotations occurred during or after the latest stage of Alpine fold emplacement in the SSC. Similar to the Devoluy. Thomas. there is also evidence of pre-tilting unrotated magnetizations at sites DI7 and DI8. 9) makes the transition between NSC (where no rotation is observed) and the SSC. S13 and S16 (?) are also late synfolding magnetization. In addition. The TTD from the SSC are anticlockwise rotated of about 90º in respect to the TTD of the internal zone. It should be noted that these two sites display a NE–SW strike of the bedding while it is rather NW–SE at the other sites along the N–S branch of the nappe. Same legend as Fig. 10. a 40º š 5º anticlockwise rotation is suggested. We do not have evidence to bracket the remagnetizations and thus it is difficult to date these suggested rotations. and significantly anticlockwise rotated. 10).

(A) Synthetic structural map of the western Alps showing tectonic transport direction and rotation along the vertical axis inferred from paleomagnetic results. 1996). 1986. D Embrunais nappe. Different mechanisms for anticlockwise rotations in the western Alps have been discussed by Vialon et al. De. D Vercors. it is possible that there is a close relationship between a large-scale sinistral wrenching zone. This is observed along the N–S front of the Digne nappe (Gidon and Pairis. 1986) (Fig. Note that the expected dextral strike-slip and westward thrusts are recognized in the N–S front of the Digne nappe. A D Argentera. In this logic. P D Pelvoux. Peacock et al. Thus. 11B). However. (1989) and Henry (1992). External Crystalline Massifs: B D Belledonne. (1989) proposed that NW displacement of the internal zone induced a sinistral wrenching fault along the Pelvoux and Argentera crystalline massifs (Fig. Tr. D Chartreuse. D Trieves. Conclusion Despite several decades of geological investigation in the southern Subalpine Chains. Ve. C. We propose a model of block rotations according to the McKenzie and Jackson’s model (McKenzie and Jackson. and the anticlockwise rotations found in the SSC. D ` ´ Digne nappe. northern part of the Digne nappe. no paleo- . Di. a small-scale dextral strike-slip. 11B). (1998) emphasized the importance of small faults on block rotation so that the total displacement is likely underestimated. D Devoluy. 11B). Embrunais N. Subalpine Chains: Ch. This displacement is probably too small to account for the about 40º anticlockwise rotation. 11. In this framework. They related this large-scale sinistral fault to the smaller-scale dextral strike-slip faults from the southern Subalpine Chains (Fig. dextral strike-slip faults and W-directed thrusts are expected along N–S-trending faults. Chabert-Pelline. 5. (B) Model of anticlockwise block rotations according to the model of McKenzie and Jackson (1986). Aubourg. T D Taillefer.484 C. DN. Chabert-Pelline / Tectonophysics 308 (1999) 473–486 Fig. D Diois. Vialon et al. We thus believe that the paleomagnetic rotations observed in the Late Jurassic black shales from the SSC correspond to large-scale rotation of the cover. Displacement along the dextral slip faults increases from 2–3 km at the Clery Fault (Diois) to 20–30 km in ´ the Digne nappe. they proposed that anticlockwise rotations began in the Tertiary and may be still active today.

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