International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 758–778 | Cite as

Intraplate deformation and 3D rheological structure of the Rhine Rift System and adjacent areas of the northern Alpine foreland

  • S. CloetinghEmail author
  • P. A. Ziegler
  • F. Beekman
  • P. A. M. Andriessen
  • N. Hardebol
  • P. Dèzes
Original paper


The lithosphere of the Northern Alpine foreland has undergone a polyphase evolution during which interacting stress-induced intraplate deformation and upper mantle thermal perturbations controlled folding of the thermally weakened lithosphere. In this paper we address relationships among deeper lithospheric processes, neotectonics and surface processes in the Northern Alpine foreland with special emphasis on tectonically induced topography. We focus on lithosphere memory and neotectonics, paying special attention to the thermo-mechanical structure of the Rhine Graben System and adjacent areas of the northern Alpine foreland lithosphere. We discuss implications for mechanisms of large-scale intraplate deformation and links with surface processes and topography evolution.


Intraplate deformation 3D rheological structure Rhine Graben Alpine foreland 



This research was funded through the European Union (grants ENTEC and EUROBASIN), the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (grant NEESDI), the EUCOR-URGENT program, and the Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science. We thank A. Henk, an anonymous reviewer, and J. Behrmann for their in-depth reviews and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Cloetingh
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. A. Ziegler
    • 2
  • F. Beekman
    • 1
  • P. A. M. Andriessen
    • 1
  • N. Hardebol
    • 1
  • P. Dèzes
    • 2
  1. 1.Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science, Faculty of Earth and Life SciencesVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Geological-Palaeontological Institute, Department of GeosciencesUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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