Paleomagnetism of latest Anisian (Middle Triassic) sections of the Prezzo Limestone and the Buchenstein Formation, Southern Alps, Italy

Muttoni, Giovanni; Kent, Dennis V.

A paleomagnetic study was carried out at six stratigraphic sections (309 specimens) in the latest Anisian (Middle Triassic) Prezzo Limestone and the overlying Buchenstein Formation. These units outcrop over a wide area in the western Southern Alps, although most of the sampled sections are in the vicinity of the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene Adamello batholith. Three sites suffered a complete remagnetization induced by the Adamello, whereas a characteristic component with a positive fold test has been isolated at the three other sites. The mean pole of the characteristic component (Lat. 63.2°N, Long. 229.3°E,N = 3,A95 = 8°,k = 236) is in agreement with the Triassic portion of the West Gondwana apparent polar wander path (APWP), supporting the use of paleopoles from well-dated rocks in the Southern Alps as useful proxies for the African APWP. The characteristic component, where isolated in the sampled sections, is of normal polarity only, corresponding to the latest Anisian on the basis of well-defined ammonoid and conodont biostratigraphy, but the present results suggest that there are good opportunities for extending Middle Triassic magnetostratigraphy in these Southern Alps rock units. The mean pole of the Adamello-induced component (Lat. 74.5°N, Long. 172.1°E,N = 4,A95 = 7.6°,K = 145) lies close to the Early Tertiary portion of the APWP for stable Europe. The post-folding, Adamello-induced directions confirm that the 30–42 Ma Adamello batholith intruded after Alpine deformation and that no further deformation apparently occurred in post-emplacement times.

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Earth and Planetary Science Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
December 6, 2011