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Oceanic mafic rocks in the Eastern Alps

Bickle, M. J. and Pearce, Julian A. 1975. Oceanic mafic rocks in the Eastern Alps. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 49 (3) , pp. 177-189. 10.1007/BF00376586

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The Eastern Alps in Austria have been interpreted as a pile of thrust sheets resulting from the collision of two continental masses. The only remains of the ocean-floor which may once have separated these continents could be the highly deformed greenschists, metasediments and serpentinites found in the lower thrust sheets. To test this hypothesis, a total of sixty mafic rocks from the Großglockner, Mooserboden, Fusch, Hochtor, Matrei Zone and Strobl localities have been analysed for the stable trace elements, Ti, Zr, Y, Nb and Cr, and the less stable elements K, Rb, and Sr. Visual and statistical comparison of the stable elements with known magma types reveals that five of the sample groups classify clearly as tholeiitic ocean-floor basalts, while one group, the Fusch locality, classifies as within-plate (probably ocean island) basalts. It is suggested that the tectonic units containing such rocks comprise a mélange of disrupted oceanic crust, upper mantle and seamounts, pelagic sediments and continental margin sediments. The rocks may have formed in a large ocean basin, rather than a marginal basin behind an island arc.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
ISSN: 0010-7999
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:05

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