Changing patterns of exhumation and denudation in front of an advancing crustal indenter, Tauern Window (Eastern Alps)

S. Favaro, M. R. Handy*, A. Scharf, R. Schuster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The changing shape of indenting crustal blocks during northward motion of the Adriatic microplate induced migration of Miocene doming and orogen-parallel extension of orogenic crust in the Tauern Window. New structural and kinematic data indicate that initial shortening of the Penninic nappe pile in the Tauern Window by upright folding and strike-slip faulting was transitional to coeval north-south shortening and east-west extension; the latter was accommodated by normal faulting at the eastern and western margins of the window. Retrodeforming these post-nappe structures in map view yields a map-view reconstruction of the orogenic crust back to 30 Ma, including the onset of pronounced indentation at ~21 Ma. This model supports the notion that indentation involved approximately equal amounts of north-south shortening and orogen-parallel stretching and extrusion toward the Pannonian Basin, as measured from the indenter tip to the European foreland in the north and Austroalpine units in the east. Comparison of areal denudation of the orogenic crust before and after indentation indicates that erosion associated with upright folding was the primary agent of denudation, whereas extensional unroofing and limited erosion along normal faults at the eastern and western ends of the Tauern Window accounted for only about a third of the total denudation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1071
Number of pages19
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Alps
  • collision
  • denudation
  • indentation
  • orogen-parallel escape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing patterns of exhumation and denudation in front of an advancing crustal indenter, Tauern Window (Eastern Alps)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this