Palaeomagnetic time and space constraints of the Early Cretaceous Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (Eastern Alps)
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This article has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Journal International. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
© The Authors 2017. The Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (RDF) is a Lower Cretaceous-lower Palaeocene turbidite succession extending for ~500 km from the Danube at Vienna to the Rhine Valley (Eastern Alps). It consists of calcareous and siliciclastic turbidite systems deposited in a trench abyssal plain. The age of deposition has been estimated through micropalaeontologic dating. However, palaeomagnetic studies constraining the age and the palaeolatitude of deposition of the RDF are still missing. Here, we present palaeomagnetic data from the Early Cretaceous Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations of the RDF from two localities in the Bavarian Alps (Rehbrein Creek and Lainbach Valley, southern Germany), and from the stratigraphic equivalent of the Falknis Nappe (Liechtenstein). The quality of the palaeomagnetic signal has been assessed by either fold test (FT) or reversal test (RT). Sediments from the Falknis Nappe are characterized by a pervasive syntectonic magnetic overprint as tested by negative FT, and are thus excluded from the study. The sediments of the Rehbreingraben Formation at Rehbrein Creek, with positive RT, straddle magnetic polarity Chron M0r and the younger M'-1r' reverse event, with an age of ~127-123 Ma (late Barremian-early Aptian). At Lainbach Valley, no polarity reversals have been observed, but a positive FT gives confidence on the reliability of the data. The primary palaeomagnetic directions, after correction for inclination shallowing, allow to precisely constrain the depositional palaeolatitude of the Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations around ~28°N. In a palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Alpine Tethys at the Barremian/Aptian boundary, the RDF is located on the western margin of the Briançonnais terrain, which was separated from the European continent by the narrow Valais Ocean.
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