Strain analysis and vorticity flow in the northern Sardinian Variscan belt: recognition of a partitioned oblique deformation event

D. Iacopini, R. Carosi, C. Montomoli, C. W. Passchier

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A field example of strain partitioning has been analysed along the Nurra–Asinara transect of the NW Sardinian Variscan chain (Italy). The section in the Nurra–Asinara area is in a continuous sequence of tectono-metamorphic complexes made of low- to high-grade metamorphic rocks affected by a polyphase tectonic history. The principal fabric of the area is controlled by a D2 progressive deformation phase in which the strain is partitioned into folds and shear zone domains. The D2 stretching lineation and shear sense show a clear change from south to north. The principal meso- and micro-structures, vorticity gauges and a quantitative kinematic analysis of local strain suggest that the D2 kinematic history could be envisaged as an oblique heterogeneous deformation similar to the transpressive systems described in ancient and modern settings elsewhere. Using a simple kinematic model we also propose that both a transpressive system followed by “thrusting” or a partitioned transpressive system could be responsible for the fabric distribution and strain accumulation described in the study transect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-96
Number of pages20
Issue number1-4
Early online date12 Oct 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008



  • Sardinia
  • Variscan chain
  • Vorticity of flow
  • Strain analysis
  • Strain partitioning

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