Continent-derived metasediments (Cimes Blanches and Frilihorn) within the ophiolites around Zermatt: relations with the Mischabel backfold and Mont Fort nappe (Pennine Alps)


Ressource 1Download: Pantet_et_al_SJG_2024.pdf (13804.36 [Ko])
State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: CC BY 4.0
Serval ID
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Continent-derived metasediments (Cimes Blanches and Frilihorn) within the ophiolites around Zermatt: relations with the Mischabel backfold and Mont Fort nappe (Pennine Alps)
Swiss Journal of Geosciences
Pantet Adrien, Epard Jean-Luc, Masson Henri
Publication state
Issued date
The region surrounding Zermatt (SW Switzerland and NW Italy) displays some classic examples of imbrications between continental and oceanic units. In particular, the studied units, called Cimes Blanches and Frilihorn or Faisceau Vermiculaire, consist of a set of thin bands of continent-derived metasediments intercalated at different levels within the ocean-derived units. These bands are locally reduced to only one meter thick but can be traced for several tens to more than one hundred kilometers across the Pennine Alps. The mechanisms leading to such imbrications are a long-standing and still-debated question. Based on detailed mapping and structural analysis of key areas, we present new data on the structure and stratigraphy of the Faisceau Vermiculaire in the area surrounding Zermatt, with particular focus on the Täschalpen sector, where the Faisceau Vermiculaire is locally in contact with basement units. Our observations allow: (i) to confirm the presence of widespread breccias of probable Jurassic age in the Faisceau Vermiculaire; (ii) to interpret the contacts between the Faisceau Vermiculaire and the overlying non-ophiolitic Schistes Lustrés (Série Rousse) as stratigraphic; (iii) to show that the stratigraphy of the Faisceau Vermiculaire and associated Série Rousse contrasts strongly with the cover of the Siviez-Mischabel nappe and that these sequences originate from different paleogeographic domains (Prepiemont basin and Briançonnais platform respectively); (iv) to interpret as stratigraphic the contact of the Faisceau Vermiculaire and the Série Rousse with the basement forming the Alphubel anticline; the local unconformity is interpreted as the result of the activity of synsedimentary Jurassic normal paleofaults; (v) to highlight the trace of a major Jurassic normal fault, that should have marked an abrupt thinning of the paleomargin; it corresponds now to the contact between the Faisceau Vermiculaire (and associated Série Rousse) and the Siviez-Mischabel basement in the hinge of the Mischabel backfold. We propose a new tectonic scheme for the structure of the Faisceau Vermiculaire and adjacent units involving an early northward folding of the Faisceau Vermiculaire with the Série Rousse and the ophiolitic Schistes Lustrés of the Tsaté nappe, followed by major backfolding responsible for the southward emplacement of these units above the HP Zermatt- Saas and Monte Rosa nappes. Our study at regional scale shows that the group formed by the Alphubel basement, the Faisceau Vermiculaire and the Série Rousse share a tectonic position and stratigraphic sequences identical to those of the Mont Fort nappe, which outcrops on the other side of the Dent Blanche klippe. It leads to the proposition that this group constitutes the eastern extension of the Mont Fort nappe.
Faisceau Vermiculaire, Briançonnais-Prepiemont continental margin restoration, Alphubel, Tsat., Grand St-Bernard nappe, Schistes Lustrés, Middle-Upper Penninic boundary, Structural geology, Paleofaults, Swiss-Italian Alps
Open Access
University of Lausanne
Other / SAV
Create date
05/06/2024 10:35
Last modification date
06/06/2024 7:18
Usage data