A belt of Carboniferous to Permian I-type granitoid bodies is in the basement thrust sheets of the Alps, which correspond to the southern flank of the central European Variscan orogen. These predominantly granodioritic plutons contrast with a contemporaneous belt of S-type granites, which extends to the north of the Alps in the Moldanubian section of the Variscan orogen. The observed regional duality of Variscan plutonism resembles the plutons along active circum-Pacific continental margins, in that there are outer I-type plutons and inner S-type granitoid belts. Therefore, central Europe could have undergone a Cordilleran-type orogenic event in late Paleozoic time, involving northwestward subdcution of the paleo-Tethys ocean.

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