Abstract

During Palaeocene to Early Oligocene times, hinterland and foreland directed thrusts and folds developed in Alpine Corsica in response to the collision of the European continental plate and oceanic crust adjacent to the Adria promontory. The 'Nappes Supérieures' represent fragments of the oceanic lithosphere, emplaced toward the west upon the Eoalpine Schistes lustrés nappes and Hercynian continental basement. The 'Nappes Supérieures' were unaffected by syn-tectonic metamorphism, whilst the underlying Schistes lustrés nappes developed a greenschist facies replacement of blueschist parageneses and the foreland basement of Hercynian Corsica developed prehnite–pumpellyite facies assemblages. Small flexural basins, occupied by continentally derived flysch deposits, developed at the deformation front and were subsequently overridden by ophiolitic and continental nappes. During Oligocene to Early Miocene times there was a change in deformation style with the generation of strike-slip and normal faults. This non-metamorphic deformation event is considered to result from the 30° anticlockwise rotation of Corso–Sardinia relative to the European plate, producing oceanic lithosphere in the Liguro–Provencal back-arc basin and a zone of collision between Corso–Sardinia and Adria. The rotation of Corsica is modelled as resulting from the indentation of the European continental plate by the Adria microplate.

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