1887
Volume 33, Issue 1
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2117

Abstract

[Abstract

The Cretaceous of southern France is characterised by a long erosional hiatus, outlined with bauxite deposits, which represent the only remaining sedimentary record of a key period for geodynamic reconstructions. Detrital zircons from allochthonous karst bauxites of Languedoc (Southern France) have been dated using LA‐ICP‐MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), in order to specify the age of deposition and to constrain the provenance of the weathered material. We analysed 671 single detrital zircons grains from three karst bauxitic basins, stretching from close to the Variscan Montagne Noire to the present‐day Mediterranean Sea. Analytical results provide Variscan (300–350 Ma) and Late Proterozoic (550–700 Ma) ages as primary groups. In addition, Middle‐, Late Proterozoic and Early Archean (oldest grain at 3.55 Ga) represent significant groups. Mid‐Cretaceous zircons (118–113 Ma) provide a pooled age of 115.5 ± 3.8 Ma, which constitutes the maximum age for bauxite deposition. Results also suggest a dual source for the Languedoc bauxite: one generalised sedimentary source of regional extent and a localised source in the Variscan basement structural high, that has been progressively unroofed during Albian. Integration of these new findings with previously published thermochronological data support the presence of an Early Cretaceous marly cover on the Variscan basement, which has been weathered and then, removed during the Albian. The Languedoc bauxite provide a spatial and temporal link between the uplift of southern French Massif Central to the north, and the Pyrenean rift and its eastward extension to the south. These new results allow to constrain the timing and distribution of uplift/subsidence during the mid‐Cretaceous events in relation with the motion of the Iberian plate relative to Eurasia.

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Schematic early cretaceous evolution of the southwest european plate. Albian allochthonous bauxite deposits of languedoc are derived from both the weathered variscan basement and its valaginian marl cover. Bauxite deposits are coeval with rifting and subsidence of the pyrenean and south provence rifts.

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2021-01-22
2021-03-07
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Durancian uplift , erosion , karst , mid‐Cretaceous , provenance analysis and Pyrenees
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