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The Saxo-Thuringian zone of the European Variscides contains the record of the Cadomian and Variscan orogenies and a Paleozoic marine transition stage. The classical view of a relatively simple, double-vergent folded sedimentary basin at the end of the Early Carboniferous is challenged by the widespread occurrence of Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous high-pressure metamorphic units tectonically juxtaposed with low-grade Paleozoic successions. Here we demonstrate that the subdivision of the Saxo-Thuringian zone in three principal units (autochthonous domain, wrench and thrust zone, and allochthonous domain) and their heterogeneous overprint by two regional deformation events during the Variscan orogeny explain the entire...

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