Structure and metamorphism of the Gran Paradiso massif, western Alps, Italy Academic Article uri icon


  • The pressure-temperature-time trajectory and structural history of high-pressure rocks presently exposed in the Gran Paradiso massif provide constraints on the processes that caused their thermal evolution and exhumation. High-pressure metamorphism of the rocks is found to have culminated at temperatures around 525 C and pressures of 12 to 14 kbar. After high-pressure metamorphism, the rocks cooled during initial decompression, while undergoing top-to-the-west shear on chlorite-bearing shear bands and larger scale shear zones. Biotite-bearing shear bands and larger shear zones related to top-to-the-east deformation affected the Gran Paradiso massif during reheating to temperatures of around 550 C at 6 at 7 kbar. Further exhumation occurred at relatively high temperatures. A potentially viable explanation of the observed stage of reheating before final cooling and exhumation is breakoff of a subducting slab in the upper mantle, allowing advective heat transfer to the base of the crust. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Brouwer, F. M., Vissers, R., & Lamb, W. M.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Brouwer, FM||Vissers, RLM||Lamb, WM

publication date

  • January 2002