Scientific article
Open access

Evolution of the Adria-Europe plate boundary in the northern Dinarides: From continent-continent collision to back-arc extension

Published inTectonics, vol. 29, no. 6
Publication date2010

The Sava Zone of the northern Dinarides is part of the Cenozoic Adria-Europe plate boundary. Here Late Cretaceous subduction of remnants of Meliata-Vardar oceanic lithosphere led to the formation of a suture, across which upper plate European-derived units of Tisza-Dacia were juxtaposed with Adria-derived units of the Dinarides. Late Cretaceous siliciclastic sediments, deposited on the Adriatic plate, were incorporated into an accretionary wedge that evolved during the initial stages of continent-continent collision. Structurally deeper parts of the exposed accretionary wedge underwent amphibolite-grade metamorphism. Grt-Pl-Ms-Bt thermobarometry and multiphase equilibria indicate temperatures between 550 degrees C and 630 degrees C and pressures between 5 and 7 kbar for this event. Peak metamorphic conditions were reached at around 65 Ma. Relatively slow cooling from peak metamorphic conditions throughout most of the Paleogene was possibly induced by hanging wall erosion in conjunction with southwest directed propagation of thrusting in the Dinarides. Accelerated cooling took place in Miocene times, when the Sava Zone underwent substantial extension that led to the exhumation of the metamorphosed units along a low-angle detachment. Footwall exhumation started under greenschist facies conditions and was associated with top-to-the-north tectonic transport, indicating exhumation from below European plate units. Extension postdates the emplacement of a 27 Ma old granitoid that underwent solid-state deformation under greenschist facies conditions. The (40)Ar/(39)Ar sericite and zircon and apatite fission track ages from the footwall allow bracketing this extensional unroofing between 25 and 14 Ma. This extension is hence linked to Miocene rift-related subsidence in the Pannonian basin, which represents a back-arc basin formed due to subduction roll-back in the Carpathians.

  • Consistent thermodynamic data
  • Timok-srednogorie belt
  • Pannonian basin
  • Illite crystallinity
  • Panagyurishte region
  • Age constraints
  • Vardar zone
  • Geodynamic evolution
  • Cenozoic tectonics
  • Southern part
Citation (ISO format)
USTASZEWSKI, Kamil et al. Evolution of the Adria-Europe plate boundary in the northern Dinarides: From continent-continent collision to back-arc extension. In: Tectonics, 2010, vol. 29, n° 6. doi: 10.1029/2010TC002668
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0278-7407

Technical informations

Creation05/15/2012 2:12:00 PM
First validation05/15/2012 2:12:00 PM
Update time03/14/2023 5:39:36 PM
Status update03/14/2023 5:39:36 PM
Last indexation05/02/2024 12:36:39 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack