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Swiss Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 1–32 | Cite as

The Tauern Window (Eastern Alps, Austria): a new tectonic map, with cross-sections and a tectonometamorphic synthesis

  • Stefan M. Schmid
  • Andreas Scharf
  • Mark R. Handy
  • Claudio L. Rosenberg
Article

Abstract

We present a tectonic map of the Tauern Window and surrounding units (Eastern Alps, Austria), combined with a series of crustal-scale cross-sections parallel and perpendicular to the Alpine orogen. This compilation, largely based on literature data and completed by own investigations, reveals that the present-day structure of the Tauern Window is primarily characterized by a crustal-scale duplex, the Venediger Duplex (Venediger Nappe system), formed during the Oligocene, and overprinted by doming and lateral extrusion during the Miocene. This severe Miocene overprint was most probably triggered by the indentation of the Southalpine Units east of the Giudicarie Belt, initiating at 23–21 Ma and linked to a lithosphere-scale reorganization of the geometry of mantle slabs. A kinematic reconstruction shows that accretion of European lithosphere and oceanic domains to the Adriatic (Austroalpine) upper plate, accompanied by high-pressure overprint of some of the units of the Tauern Window, has a long history, starting in Turonian time (around 90 Ma) and culminating in Lutetian to Bartonian time (45–37 Ma).

Keywords

Alpine tectonics Metamorphism Age dating Orogenesis Lithosphere dynamics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We greatly benefitted from advice and scientific interaction with R. Schuster, M. Rockenschaub and G. Pestal from the Geologische Bundesanstalt in Vienna, as well as with R. Brandner, A. Töchterle and B. Fügenschuh from Innsbruck University, B. Lammerer from Munich University, W. Kurz from Graz University and E. Kissling from ETH Zürich. The contributions of our colleagues at the Freie Universität are also highly appreciated, especially those by A. Bertrand, S. Favaro, S. Garcia, P. Gipper, K. Hammerschmidt, F. Hawemann S. Schneider and K. Ustaszewski. We thank S. Schneider (Berlin), D. Stöckli (Austin), and G. Zeilinger (Potsdam) for generously providing access to yet unpublished manuscripts and/or diploma theses. We thank M. Grundmann (Berlin) for her assistance in drawing. An earlier version of the manuscript was improved thanks to suggestions by N. Froitzheim (Bonn). We thank B. Lammerer (Munich) and F. Neubauer (Salzburg) for their constructive reviews. A.G. Milnes (Chief Editor of SJG) is warmly thanked for his very careful technical editing and his useful hints leading to final improvements. We were supported in part by grants from the German Science Foundation (DFG Grants Ha 2403/10 and RO 2177/5) and the Alexander-von-Humboldt Stiftung (to SM). The Swiss Geological Society generously covered the extra costs for the print version of Fig. 1.

Supplementary material

15_2013_123_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (767 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 768 kb)

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Copyright information

© Swiss Geological Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan M. Schmid
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andreas Scharf
    • 1
  • Mark R. Handy
    • 1
  • Claudio L. Rosenberg
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für Geologische WissenschaftenFreie UniversitätBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Geophysik ETHZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institut des Sciences de la Terre de ParisUniversité Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6Paris Cedex 05France

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