Tectonometamorphic evolution of the Rhodope orogen

Kurt Krenn, Christoph Bauer, Alexander Proyer, Urs Kloetzli, Georg Hoinkes

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44 Citations (Scopus)


This study combines new data on tectonostratigraphy, macrostructures and microstructures, petrology, and geochronology to propose a comprehensive model for the tectonometamorphic evolution of the Rhodope orogen from the Jurassic to the early Paleogene. Rocks from two study areas in the central and eastern Greek Rhodope represent a continental suture zone (Rhodope Suture Zone), with the included material most likely forming an extensional allochthon south of the European continent during Permo/Triassic times that was subsequently subducted beneath Europe in the Early Jurassic (>= 180 Ma). On the basis of comparable metamorphic ages and coherent structures but differences in metamorphic conditions and lithologies, the rocks of the Rhodope Suture Zone are subdivided into an upper and a lower part. The prograde history is linked with subduction-related structures in the lower part (uniaxial stretching, deformation stage D1). In metapelites, the earliest stage of metamorphism recorded at circa 180 Ma occurred at least under ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic conditions. The rocks of the upper part experienced isothermal decompression with partial anatexis. Exhumation paths of both parts differ in temperature because of the relative tectonic position within the exhuming wedge. Exhumation was forced by the Nestos Shear Zone that controlled the early phase of normal displacement by SW shearing at the base (lower part) and NE shearing on top (upper part) from the Late Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous (deformation stage D2). An intervening stage of mineral recrystallization and thermal reequilibration in the upper part was followed by a common exhumation history of both parts at pressures lower than about 12 kbar (35-40 km depth). During this stage, exhumation was controlled by southwest directed shearing and folding (deformation stage D3). Slab retreat to the south led to subsequent extension (deformation stage D4) and final exhumation coeval with the formation of basement domes, thus making the Rhodope a classic core complex juxtaposed with former structurally higher units. Citation: Krenn, K., C. Bauer, A. Proyer, U. Klotzli, and G. Hoinkes (2010), Tectonometamorphic evolution of the Rhodope orogen, Tectonics, 29, TC4001, doi:10.1029/2009TC002513.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)TC4001
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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