The evolution of the Sesia Zone (Western Alps) from Carboniferous to Cretaceous: insights from zircon and allanite geochronology

Vho, Alice; Rubatto, Daniela; Lanari, Pierre; Regis, Daniele (2020). The evolution of the Sesia Zone (Western Alps) from Carboniferous to Cretaceous: insights from zircon and allanite geochronology. Swiss journal of geosciences, 113(1), p. 24. Springer 10.1186/s00015-020-00372-4

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Microscale dating of distinct domains in minerals that contain relics of multiple metamorphic events is a key tool to characterize the polyphase evolution of complex metamorphic terranes. Zircon and allanite from five metasediments and five metaintrusive high-pressure (HP) rocks from the Eclogite Micaschist Complex of the Sesia Zone were dated by SIMS and LA-ICP-MS. In the metasediments, zircon systematically preserves detrital cores and one or two metamorphic overgrowths. An early Permian age is obtained for the first zircon rim in metasediments from the localities of Malone Valley, Chiusella Valley and Monte Mucrone (292 ± 11, 278.8 ± 3.6 and 285.9 ± 2.9 Ma, respectively). In the Malone Valley and Monte Mucrone samples, the early Permian ages are attributed to high-temperature metamorphism and coincide with the crystallization ages of associated mafic and felsic intrusions. This implies that magmatism and metamorphism were coeval and associated to the same tectono-metamorphic extensional event. In the Malone Valley, allanite from a metasediment is dated at 241.1 ± 6.1 Ma and this age is tentatively attributed to a metasomatic/metamorphic event during Permo-Triassic extension. Outer zircon rims with a late Cretaceous age (67.4 ± 1.9 Ma) are found only in the micaschist from Monte Mucrone. In metagabbro of the Ivozio Complex, zircon cores yield an intrusive age for the protolith of 340.7 ± 6.8 Ma, whereas Alpine allanite are dated at 62.9 ± 4.2 and 55.3 ± 7.3 Ma. The Cretaceous ages constrain the timing of the HP metamorphic stage. The presence of zircon overgrowth only in the central area of the Eclogite Micaschist Complex is attributed to local factors such as (1) multiple fluid pulses at HP that locally enhanced zircon dissolution and recrystallization, and (2) slightly higher temperatures reached in this area during HP metamorphism.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Isotope Geology

UniBE Contributor:

Vho, Alice, Rubatto, Daniela, Lanari, Pierre


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation


[UNSPECIFIED] Tracing the invisible path of fluids in the crust with microscale oxygen isotope measurements in key metamorphic minerals




Daniela Rubatto

Date Deposited:

14 Jan 2021 10:51

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:43

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