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The Meliata nappe of the Western Carpathian orogen is comprised of Triassic deep-sea metasedimentary rocks and fragments of blueschist-bearing ophiolite. These were structurally emplaced onto Permian/Triassic shelf sequences and its Variscan basement. The nappe records a succession of deformational events which formed under decreasing pressure conditions. Subduction-related burial and resulting blueschist metamorphism is dated by 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages recorded by four phengitic muscovite concentrates (160–150 Ma). These crystallized during ductile deformation characterized by predominantly coaxial NW–SE stretching. The structures were overprinted by semiductile, nonpenetrative fabric elements which formed under greenschist facies conditions and contemporaneously with fabrics which developed in footwall tectonic units. Kinematic indicators record top north to NW shear during Middle Cretaceous loading of the Meliata unit onto the Inner Carpathian nappe complex recorded by a 40Ar/39Ar whole rock phyllite age of 105.8±1.5 Ma. A subsequent southeastern sense of shear is interpreted to have resulted from extension during Late Cretaceous uplift along hinterland margins of the tectonic wedge. The Meliata unit is part of a major Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous suture which initially extended from the Alps to the Hellenides. It has been subsequently disrupted as a result of later strike-slip faulting following Tertiary collision of the Cretaceous orogen, and was transported onto extra-Alpine European units.

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