Abstract

The Albula Pass region lies between the Lower Austroalpine Err Nappe and the Middle Austroalpine Silvretta Nappe. They will be treated here as the frame of the non- to gently metamorphic sedimentary units between the two during the Alpide times. Sedimentation started on a metamorphic Hercynian basement during the latest Carboniferous(?) and continued into the Permian. Then a sequence from the Alpine Buntsandstein to the medial Jurassic to early Cretaceous Aptychenkalk (=Maiolica) and radiolarites were deposited in an environment of rifting and subsidence. The succeeding Palombini clastics were laid down after the Aptychenkalk and mark the onset of shortening in the Alpine realm. The initial structures that formed were at least two north-dipping normal faults which formed before the deposition of the Jurassic sedimentary rocks. When shortening set in, the first structure that came into being was the south-vergent Elalbula Nappe, bending the normal faults into close antiforms. It became further dismembered into two pieces creating parts of the future Ela and Albula nappes in the Albula region. This motion was later reversed, when the entire ensemble became bulldozed by the immense body of the Silvretta Nappe along numerous, closely spaced thrust faults, some of which only very locally followed horizontal bits of the old normal faults, but in principle they determined their own course. No evidence for westerly motion could be identified, although microstructures in the structural fabric were not studied. The reason for this may be the pre-orogenic fabric in the bounding tectonic units.

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