Polyphase wrench tectonics in the southern french Massif Central: kinematic inferences from pre- and syntectonic granitoids
In the Variscan French Massif Central, the South Limousin area consists of low- to medium-grade metamorphic rocks intruded by two granitic bodies. The structural and textural analyses of these plutons undertaken in parallel with the structural analysis of their host rocks allow us to characterize and to date different stages in the tectonic evolution of this area. This study shows that the South Limousin area experienced successivelly two strike-slip events along two geographically distinct shear zones, from north to south the left-lateral Estivaux and the right-lateral South Limousin strike-slip faults, respectively. These ductile faults subdivide the South Limousin into three structural units, from north to south they are the Upper Gneiss unit, Thiviers-Payzac unit and Génis unit. The two granitic bodies intrude the Thiviers-Payzac unit only. The younger Estivaux granite is a syntectonic pluton which emplaced during left-lateral wrenching. 40Ar/39Ar dates from biotites indicate an Early Carboniferous age (346+/-3Ma). The older granite is a pretectonic body. It is the Ordovician "Saut du Saumon" augen orthogneiss in which detailed structural analyses show the polyphase nature of the solid-state deformation. Our microtectonic data indicate that the right-lateral motions overprint the left-lateral ones and produce apparently symmetrical fabrics.
International Journal of Earth Sciences
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