International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Thermal history of the Maramure area (Northern Romania) constrained by zircon fission track analysis: Cretaceous metamorphism and Late Cretaceous to Paleocene exhumation

Pages: 383 - 398

Authors: HEIKE R. GRÖGER, MATTHIAS TISCHLER, BERNHARD FÜGENSCHUH, STEFAN M. SCHMID

Abstract: This study presents zircon fission track data from the Bucovinian nappe stack (northern part of the Inner Eastern Carpathians, Rodna Mountains) and a neighbouring part of the Biharia nappe system (Preluca massif) in order to unravel the thermal history of the area and its structural evolution by integrating the fission track data with published data on the tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the area. The increase of metamorphic temperatures towards the SW detected by the zircon fission track data suggests SW-wards increasing tectonic overburden (up to at least 15 km) and hence top NE thrusting. Sub-greenschist facies conditions during the Alpine metamorphic overprint only caused partial annealing of fission tracks in zircon in the external main chain of the Central Eastern Carpathians. Full annealing of zircon points to at least 300 °C in the more internal elements (Rodna Mountains and Preluca massif). The zircon fission track central and single grain ages largely reflect Late Cretaceous cooling and exhumation. A combination of fission track data and stratigraphic constraints points to predominantly tectonic differential exhumation by some 7—11 km, connected to massive Late Cretaceous extension not yet detected in the area. Later events such as the latest Cretaceous (“Laramian”) juxtaposition of the nappe pile with the internal Moldavides, causing exhumation by erosion, re-burial by sedimentation and tectonic loading during the Cenozoic had no impact on the zircon fission track data; unfortunately it prevented a study of the low temperature part of the Late Cretaceous exhumation history.

Keywords: Cretaceous, Eastern Carpathians, Romania, Rodna Mountains, Alpine metamorphism, thermochronology, zircon fission track analysis

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