Quantifying the Eocene to Pleistocene topographic evolution of the soutwestern Alps, France and Italy - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2015

Quantifying the Eocene to Pleistocene topographic evolution of the soutwestern Alps, France and Italy

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Matthias Bernet
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 965264
Jean-Pierre Suc
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 884163
Stéphane Guillot
Peter van Der Beek
Emile Roche
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 965267
Giulio Pavia
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 965268

Abstract

We evaluate the topographic evolution of the southwestern Alps using Eocene to Pleistocene pollen data combined with existing sedimentological, petrographic and detrital geo-and thermochronological data. We report 32 new pollen analyses from 10 sites completed by an existing dataset of 83 samples from 14 localities situated across the southwestern Alps, including both the pro-and the retro-foreland basins. The presence of microthermic tree pollen (mainly Abies, Picea) indicates that this part of the mountain belt attained elevations over 1900 m as early as the Oligocene. Inferred rapid surface uplift during the mid-Oligocene coincided with a previously documented brief phase of rapid erosional exhumation, when maximum erosion rates may have reached values of up to 1.5–2km/Myr. Slower long-term average exhumation rates of ∼0.3km/Myr since the Late Oligocene helped maintaining the high Alpine topography of the southwestern Alps until today. The relative abundances of meso-microthermic tree pollen (Cathaya, Cedrusand Tsuga) and microthermic tree pollen (Abies, Picea) in the pro-and retro-foreland basin deposits, indicate that the present-day asymmetric topography, with a relatively gentle western flank and steeper eastern flank, was established early in the southwestern Alps, at least since
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Fauquette et al., 2015, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 412, 220-234 manuscript for HAL.pdf (1.15 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
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Dates and versions

hal-01136399 , version 1 (27-03-2015)

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Séverine Fauquette, Matthias Bernet, Jean-Pierre Suc, Anne-Sabine Grosjean, Stéphane Guillot, et al.. Quantifying the Eocene to Pleistocene topographic evolution of the soutwestern Alps, France and Italy. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2015, 412, pp.220-234. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.036⟩. ⟨hal-01136399⟩
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