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Cretaceous tectonic evolution of the Sava-Klepa Massif, Republic of North Macedonia – Results from calcite twin based automated paleostress analysis

Journal article
Authors J. Köpping
Mark Peternell
D. Prelević
D. Rutte
Published in Tectonophysics
Volume 758
Pages 44-54
ISSN 0040-1951
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 44-54
Language en
Keywords 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dating, Alpine geology, Calcite deformation twinning, Fabric Analyser, Paleostress analysis, Sava-Klepa Massif, Deformation, Geochronology, Marble, Mica, Plates (structural components), Silicate minerals, Tectonics, Twinning, Deformation twinning, ^40Ar/^39Ar dating, Calcite
Subject categories Geophysics


The Sava-Klepa Massif represents an approximately 5 × 2 km sized fault-bounded block of dominantly basaltic rocks located within the Sava-Zone, an important suture zone between the Eurasian (Europe) and Gondwana (Adria) continental plates in the Balkans. Its nature and tectonic evolution is controversial: It is either interpreted as a remnant of the youngest Tethyan oceanic realm left behind after the main closure in the Late Jurassic or as the delimiter of a diffuse tectonic boundary between Adria and Europe, which had already collided in the Late Jurassic and was dominantly controlled by transtensional tectonics during Cretaceous times. In order to strengthen one or the other model, we concentrate on the Sava-Klepa Massif enclosing Paleozoic basement rocks, which mainly consist of a layered sequence of metamorphic marbles and mica schists. The metamorphic basement shows deformation structures clearly related to the Klepa event. Our results are based on paleostress and paleostrain analysis of twinned calcite from deformed marbles, and field observations, microstructural analysis, and 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dating of white mica. Paleostress and paleostrain analysis was enhanced by using an automated fabric analyser microscope, and developing the herein presented freeware standalone Windows® executable PACT software (Paleostress Analysis with Calcite Twins). Our results support the hypothesis that the Sava-Klepa Massif was formed during transtension as a pull-apart basin in the Late Cretaceous. This could have happened either after the collision of the European and Adriatic plates, or along a transtentional zone in the fore-arc region during subduction of the last Tethyan oceanic lithosphere. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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