International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 104, Issue 5, pp 1337–1352 | Cite as

Low-temperature constraints on the Cenozoic thermal evolution of the Southern Rhodope Core Complex (Northern Greece)

  • Alexandre KounovEmail author
  • Eliane Wüthrich
  • Diane Seward
  • Jean-Pierre Burg
  • Daniel Stockli
Original Paper


The South Rhodope Core Complex (SRCC) of Northern Greece is probably the most studied metamorphic core complex of the Rhodope Massif, and yet its geological evolution has not yet been fully unravelled, especially the later stages of its thermotectonic evolution. We applied the fission-track method on apatite and zircon and the [U–Th–(Sm)]/He method on apatite in order to reconstruct the low-temperature thermal history. The main detachments responsible for the unroofing of the core complex are the Kerdilion and the Strymon Valley detachments. The Kerdilion detachment initiated the exhumation of the SRCC at the latest at 42 Ma and controlled it until about 24 Ma. Between 24 and 12 Ma, the Strymon Valley detachment accommodated the exhumation. Since 12 Ma brittle normal faults, some of them cutting the Strymon Valley detachment were responsible for the final cooling of the basement rocks in the studied area and the formation of syn-tectonic sedimentary basins. Activity along these brittle normal faults lasted until 6 Ma or probably even until today, as indicated by recent seismic activity in the area.


Thermochronology Rhodope Core complex Exhumation Fission-track analysis Greece 



This study was supported by ETH research grant number TH-4 05-2. We thank Dimo Dimov, Dimitrios Sokoutis and Pieter Vermeesch for their collegial support in the field, as well as discussions and advice including that with Jean-Pierre Brun. Constructive reviews by Istvan Dunkl and Giulio Viola have helped to improve the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Kounov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eliane Wüthrich
    • 2
  • Diane Seward
    • 3
  • Jean-Pierre Burg
    • 2
  • Daniel Stockli
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Geology and PaleontologyBasel UniversityBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Geological InstituteETH-ZentrumZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.School of Geography, Environment and Earth SciencesVictoria UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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