The Western Alps, from Rift to Passive Margin to Orogenic Belt

An Integrated Geoscience Overview


  • Pierre-Charles de Graciansky, Paris, France
  • David G. Roberts
  • Pierre Tricart, BP, Grenoble, France

This book addresses the evolution of the Alpine fold belt for the first time in the English language. It builds on classical Alpine geological studies made since the start of the 19th century by combining that research with modern results obtained over the past 50 years using new marine geological and geophysical technologies. The book thus provides an integrated overview of the evolution of the Alps from rift to passive margin to the present fold belt over a significant time span.
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Faculty and students in the earth sciences as well as oil company geologists


Book information

  • Published: October 2010
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-53724-9

Table of Contents

1: From geosynclinal theory to plate tectonics in understanding folded belts. 2/3 The birth of the Alpine fold belt at the expense of the now vanished Tethyan Ocean and its continental margins. 4: The permanence of Hercynian heritage in Tethyan then Alpine structures. 5 et 6: The initiation of Tethyan rifting on the future European margin.  7: The evolution of Tethyan rifting on the future European margin and the transition to oceanic spreading.. 8: The Valais Ocean controversy and the change from Tethyan spreading to Alpin shortening. 9: The Tethyan margin in Corsica.  10: A brief summary of the Apulian margin in the Eastern Alps in Italy and in the Grisons of Switzerland.  11: Alpine ophiolites in the Western Alps. Reconstruction of the Tethyan oceanic crust. 12: Recapitulation et overview. 13: From extension to shortening ; inversion on the European Tethyan margin and th start of orogenesis in the Western and Central Alps. 14: The birth of the Western and Central Alps : subduction, obduction, collision. 15: the Alps - Neotectonics. 16: Summary, discussion. Interpretation of Alpine stratigraphic sections in terms of Sequence Stratigraphy.