Abstract

Several episodes of crustal melting are now well identified in the Variscan French Massif Central. Middle Devonian (ca 385-375 Ma) migmatites are recognized in the Upper and Lower Gneiss Units involved in the stack of nappes. Late Carboniferous migmatites (ca 300 Ma) are exposed in the Velay Massif only and Middle Carboniferous migmatites crop out in the Para-autochthonous Unit and southern Fold-and-Thrust Belt. In the SW part of the Massif Central, the South Millevaches massif exposes migmatites developed at the expense of ortho- and paragneiss. They form kilometer-sized septa within the foliated Goulles leucogranitic pluton, which is in turn intruded by the non-foliated Glény two micas granite pluton. Monazite grains extracted from these three rock-types have been dated by the EPMA chemical method. Three samples of migmatite yield a late Visean age (ca 337-328 Ma), the Goulles and Glény granitic plutons yield ages at 324-323 Ma and 324-318 Ma, respectively. These new results enlarge the evidence of a Middle Carboniferous crustal melting imprint that up to now was only reported in the eastern part of the French Massif Central, in the northern Cévennes and in the Montagne Noire axial zone. At the scale of the French Variscan massifs, the Visean crustal melting event is conspicuously developed since it is recognized from the Massif Armoricain (Vendée and south coast of Brittany) to the Central Vosges. This episode is synchronous with the huge thermal event responsible for the “Tuffs anthracifères” magmatism of the northern Massif Central and Vosges, and took place immediately after the last thickening phase recorded both in Montagne Noire and Ardennes, that is on the southern and northern outer zones of the Variscan Belt, respectively. However, the geodynamic significance of this major event is not fully understood yet.

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