Reddy, S. and Cliff, R. and East, R.
The Sonnblick Dome is one of several domal structures affecting the interface between basement and cover within the Pennine Zone of the Tauern Window in the eastern Alps. Rb-Sr isotopic data, comprising 19 biotite and 22 white mica ages from variably deformed granitic gneisses, provide new evidence of the thermal and tectonic history of the dome and its relationships with other parts of the south-east Tauern Window. White mica ages generally cluster between 26 and 30 Ma although there are values up to 82 Ma, which appear to reflect incomplete equilibration during Tertiary metamorphism under low amphibolite facies conditions; six closely spaced samples from an intensely sheared ‘gneiss lamella’ are more tightly grouped between 26 and 27.6 Ma and provide the best estimate of the age of syntectonic crystallization. Biotite ages are systematically younger, ranging from 19 to 23.5 Ma, reflecting closure during post-metamorphic cooling. Sonnblick Dome and the Hochalm Dome approximately 20 km further east, where closure of Rb-Sr in biotite did not occur until 16.5 Ma; the metamorphic peak here is also probably younger, possibly as late as 22 Ma. The Sonnblick Dome was formed before 27 Ma and the deformation style had changed to extension before biotite closure by 19 Ma. In contrast, rapid updoming in the Hochalm Dome was previously dated at 16.5 Ma and the differences in thermal history can be linked to differences in deformation history. Overall the geochronological data from the south-east Tauern Window demonstrate the heterogeneity of thermal history on a geographical scale of 10 km and emphasize the importance of tectonic displacements in controlling temperature within orogenic belts.