The External Ligurian Units are regarded as representative of the ocean continent transition between the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin and the hyperextended Adria continental margin. The remnants of this transition are preserved as slide blocks embedded in a sedimentary mélange. This mélange sedimented during the Santonian to Campanian in the rear of the accretionary wedge that developed during the east-dipping subduction of the oceanic lithosphere below Adria. The main characteristic of this mélange is the occurrence of slide blocks of subcontinental mantle, lower continental crust, granitoids, gabbro, basalt, and sedimentary rocks in a sedimentary matrix. In this paper, we provide petrographic observations coupled with U‒Pb zircon ages and δ18O zircon isotopes of the slide blocks of felsic granulites and granitoids. U‒Pb data indicate ages ranging from Neoproterozoic to Late Triassic. δ18O isotopes help to define the source of the magma of granitoids and felsic granulites, which was the continental crust. Overall, the collected data indicate that the slide blocks from sedimentary mélanges can be regarded as true archives that are able to provide useful constraints about the geodynamic history of the source area of these deposits.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Ophiolites, melanges and blueschists collection available at:

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