As part of the Variscan orogen, the Pyrenean realm has undergone several rifting episodes, starting from the Permian-Carboniferous post-orogenic collapse and culminating with mid-Cretaceous lithospheric mantle exhumation. We present the Pressure-Temperature-time-deformation (P-T-t-d) evolution of the tonalite bodies (here described for the first time) intruded in the late Carboniferous high pressure (HP) granulites of the Saleix Complex, forming the inner envelope of the Lherz peridotites (Aulus Basin, Ariège, France), that is used as a proxy to reconstruct the post-Hercynian evolution of the Pyrenean continental crust. By integrating textural investigations with metamorphic thermobarometry, and zircon and titanite U[sbnd]Pb geochronology, we (i) constrain timing and thermo-baric conditions related to the transition from magma emplacement to solid-state syn-tectonic deformation in tonalite(s); and (ii) discuss implications on the polyphase exhumation history of the granulite host rocks. Emplacement of the Saleix tonalite(s) took place in the early Permian (ca. 281 Ma), in a thermo-baric environment (P = 0.5 ± 0.1 GPa and T = 750–880 ± 20 °C) attesting for an important thinning of the Pyrenean crust at the end of the Variscan cycle. Solid-state deformation occurred during the mid-Cretaceous (ca. 96 Ma), at shallow crustal depths (≤10 km) and under amphibolite facies metamorphic conditions. These results document that rifting events had already thinned the Pyrenean crust prior to the Cretaceous mantle exhumation and that the lower crust was affected by ductile deformation during the Cretaceous rifting. Our study demonstrates that in the Pyrenean realm the Permian crustal thinning played a very important role and that mantle exhumation resulted from polyphase post-Variscan, Permian-to-Cretaceous crustal thinning episodes.
Asti, R., Rossetti, F., Lucci, F., Poujol, M., & Lagabrielle, Y. (2021). Polyphase post-Variscan thinning of the North Pyrenean crust: Constraints from the P-T-t-deformation history of the exhumed Variscan lower crust (Saleix Massif, France). TECTONOPHYSICS, 820, 229122 [10.1016/j.tecto.2021.229122].