Abstract

In the western part of the Variscan belt of the French Massif Central, the Guéret massif is an extensional allochthon emplaced to the southeast during Namurian-Westphalian time. The internal structure of the coeval leucogranites surrounding the western edge of the Guéret massif consists of the Plateau d'Aigurande, Brame-St. Sylvestre, and St. Goussaud massifs. These plutons are asymmetric diapirs rooted in the Marche, Bussière-Madeleine, and Arrènes faults, respectively. The plutons indicate diverging extravasation from the Guéret massif. Whatever their shapes, the plutons have a northwest-trending stretching lineation that is also marked in the granite host rocks by retrograde metamorphic minerals. The same extension direction is also inferred from Namurian-Westphalian leucogranites and dikes intruding the Guéret massif. Extension-related granitoids present typical structural patterns such as asymmetric shapes, extravasation from the collapsing area, and persistence of a stretching lineation parallel to the regional extension direction. These features may be used to diagnose crustal thinning.

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