The Tauern Window (Eastern Alps, Austria): A new tectonic map, with cross-sections and a tectonometamorphic synthesis

Stefan M. Schmid, Andreas Scharf, Mark R. Handy, Claudio L. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)


We present a tectonic map of the Tauern Window and surrounding units (Eastern Alps, Austria), combined with a series of crustal-scale cross-sections parallel and perpendicular to the Alpine orogen. This compilation, largely based on literature data and completed by own investigations, reveals that the present-day structure of the Tauern Window is primarily characterized by a crustal-scale duplex, the Venediger Duplex (Venediger Nappe system), formed during the Oligocene, and overprinted by doming and lateral extrusion during the Miocene. This severe Miocene overprint was most probably triggered by the indentation of the Southalpine Units east of the Giudicarie Belt, initiating at 23-21 Ma and linked to a lithosphere-scale reorganization of the geometry of mantle slabs. A kinematic reconstruction shows that accretion of European lithosphere and oceanic domains to the Adriatic (Austroalpine) upper plate, accompanied by high-pressure overprint of some of the units of the Tauern Window, has a long history, starting in Turonian time (around 90 Ma) and culminating in Lutetian to Bartonian time (45-37 Ma).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalSwiss Journal of Geosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013



  • Age dating
  • Alpine tectonics
  • Lithosphere dynamics
  • Metamorphism
  • Orogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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