Late Miocene increasing exhumation rates in the eastern part of the Alps – implications from low temperature thermochronology
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A new set of apatite fission-track and apatite (U–Th)/He data reveals a hitherto undated late Miocene exhumation pulse in the eastern part of the Eastern Alps. While distinct parts of the study area, including the Seckauer Tauern, have been at near surface conditions (<100 °C) since the Eocene, the neighbouring Niedere Tauern experienced enhanced cooling and exhumation in the middle Miocene and again at the late Miocene/Pliocene boundary. Middle Miocene exhumation is interpreted as a result of tectonic escape and convergence that operated simultaneously during lateral extrusion of the Eastern Alps. As the higher late Miocene/Pliocene exhumation rates are restricted to a single tectonic block, namely the Niedere Tauern, we infer a tectonic trigger that is probably related to a change in the external stress field that affected the Alps during this time.
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