Crustal section based on CROP seismic data across the North Tyrrhenian–Northern Apennines–Adriatic Sea

Crustal section based on CROP seismic data across the North Tyrrhenian–Northern... Using deep seismic reflection data from the Italian lithospheric exploration project CROP in the Central Mediterranean region, a 400-km-long section, composed of three different profiles crossing the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea (CROP M-12A profile), the Northern Apennines (CROP-03) and the Adriatic Sea (CROP M-16) is reconstructed and discussed. New data allow us to outline a seismically consistent tectono-stratigraphic setting for the crust and upper mantle of the Northern Apennines thrust–belt system and its Adriatic foreland. Time–space analysis of the deformation of the investigated chain and identification of existing macrostratigraphic crustal intervals and tectonic units allow a reasonably controlled interpretation of the geodynamic evolution and of the main orogenic stages. Careful seismic reprocessing and application of advanced techniques to key zones of the explored area (such as the Tuscan Archipelago) were determinants in obtaining fundamental information for understanding of the complex lithospheric structures and their evolution. Profile interpretation supports that the Northern Apennine chain is dominated by a compressive thrust system. Crustal extension, assumed by some authors as the dominating tectonic process for the whole Tuscan Apennine area, represents a subordinate geodynamic event of the last stage (Tyrrhenian). In the Early Cretaceous–Late Jurassic, the paleogeographic framework consisted of the Europe and Adria plates separated by the Alpine Tethys Ocean. During the Late Cretaceous–Early Eocene, Adria–Europe convergence (eo-Alpine stage) and subduction beneath the Adria plate closed the Alpine Tethys Sea, with the Tethyan slab being clearly seismically imaged. The first Apenninic geodynamic stage occurred in the Late Oligocene–Early Miocene with the opening of the Balearic Basin, which generated a first “lithospheric root” of the Apenninic chain in the Tuscan Archipelago area. This root is represented by Adria-verging thrust faults that progressively flatten eastward. Upper parts of the west-verging eo-Alpine thrust blocks were truncated by the east-verging thrust faults of the Balearic stage. A deeper seismic reflector, attributed to the top of the asthenosphere, forms a mantle high below the Elba Island. From the Late Miocene to Present, the Corsica basin and western hinterland area were affected by extensional tectonics related to the Tyrrhenian opening, whereas compressional tectonics continued in the eastern hinterland and mostly on the eastward migrating foreland, with development of a second “lithospheric root” constituted by high-angle thrust faults. These faults give rise to a huge basement culmination below the main Apennines watershed. Impressive E-directed gravity-sliding of sedimentary blocks over their sloping basement occur, generating the Umbria–Marche shallow seismicity. Crustal shortening of the Apennines system amounts to 170 km, 14 km of which are due to the eo-Alpine stage, 71 km to the Balearic and 85 km to the Tyrrhenian one. In the frame of Africa–Europe convergence, the Tyrrhenian–Apennines tectonodynamics were mainly conditioned by the Mesozoic paleogeography. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tectonophysics Elsevier

Crustal section based on CROP seismic data across the North Tyrrhenian–Northern Apennines–Adriatic Sea

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0040-1951
eISSN
1879-3266
DOI
10.1016/S0040-1951(01)00141-X
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Using deep seismic reflection data from the Italian lithospheric exploration project CROP in the Central Mediterranean region, a 400-km-long section, composed of three different profiles crossing the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea (CROP M-12A profile), the Northern Apennines (CROP-03) and the Adriatic Sea (CROP M-16) is reconstructed and discussed. New data allow us to outline a seismically consistent tectono-stratigraphic setting for the crust and upper mantle of the Northern Apennines thrust–belt system and its Adriatic foreland. Time–space analysis of the deformation of the investigated chain and identification of existing macrostratigraphic crustal intervals and tectonic units allow a reasonably controlled interpretation of the geodynamic evolution and of the main orogenic stages. Careful seismic reprocessing and application of advanced techniques to key zones of the explored area (such as the Tuscan Archipelago) were determinants in obtaining fundamental information for understanding of the complex lithospheric structures and their evolution. Profile interpretation supports that the Northern Apennine chain is dominated by a compressive thrust system. Crustal extension, assumed by some authors as the dominating tectonic process for the whole Tuscan Apennine area, represents a subordinate geodynamic event of the last stage (Tyrrhenian). In the Early Cretaceous–Late Jurassic, the paleogeographic framework consisted of the Europe and Adria plates separated by the Alpine Tethys Ocean. During the Late Cretaceous–Early Eocene, Adria–Europe convergence (eo-Alpine stage) and subduction beneath the Adria plate closed the Alpine Tethys Sea, with the Tethyan slab being clearly seismically imaged. The first Apenninic geodynamic stage occurred in the Late Oligocene–Early Miocene with the opening of the Balearic Basin, which generated a first “lithospheric root” of the Apenninic chain in the Tuscan Archipelago area. This root is represented by Adria-verging thrust faults that progressively flatten eastward. Upper parts of the west-verging eo-Alpine thrust blocks were truncated by the east-verging thrust faults of the Balearic stage. A deeper seismic reflector, attributed to the top of the asthenosphere, forms a mantle high below the Elba Island. From the Late Miocene to Present, the Corsica basin and western hinterland area were affected by extensional tectonics related to the Tyrrhenian opening, whereas compressional tectonics continued in the eastern hinterland and mostly on the eastward migrating foreland, with development of a second “lithospheric root” constituted by high-angle thrust faults. These faults give rise to a huge basement culmination below the main Apennines watershed. Impressive E-directed gravity-sliding of sedimentary blocks over their sloping basement occur, generating the Umbria–Marche shallow seismicity. Crustal shortening of the Apennines system amounts to 170 km, 14 km of which are due to the eo-Alpine stage, 71 km to the Balearic and 85 km to the Tyrrhenian one. In the frame of Africa–Europe convergence, the Tyrrhenian–Apennines tectonodynamics were mainly conditioned by the Mesozoic paleogeography.

Journal

TectonophysicsElsevier

Published: Dec 30, 2001

References

  • The 1997 Umbria–Marche, Italy, earthquake sequence: a first look at the main shocks and aftershocks
    Amato, A.; Azzara, R.; Chiarabba, C.; Cimini, G.B.; Cocco, M.; Di Buona, M.; Margheriti, L.; Mazza, S.; Mele, F.; Selvaggi, G.; Basili, A.; Boschi, E.
  • Cover thrust reactivations related to internal basement involvement during Neogene–Quaternary evolution of the northern Apennines
    Boccaletti, M.; Sani, F.
  • Tectonic regime, granite emplacement and crustal structure in the inner zone of the Northern Apennines (Tuscany, Italy): a new hypothesis
    Boccaletti, M.; Gianelli, G.; Sani, F.
  • Compressive Neogene–Quaternary tectonics in the hinterland area of the Northern Apennines
    Boccaletti, M.; Bonini, M.; Moratti, G.; Sani, F.
  • Evolution and depocentre migration in thrust top basins: inferences from the Messinian Velona Basin (Northern Apennines, Italy)
    Bonini, M.; Moratti, G.; Sani, F.
  • Crustal extension in the Northern Apennines: the transition from compression to extension in the Alpi Apuane core complex
    Carmignani, L.; Kligfield, R.
  • Frontal part of the Northern Apennines fold and thrust belt in the Romagna–Marche area (Italy): shallow and deep structural styles
    Coward, M.; De Donatis, M.; Mazzoli, S.; Paltrinieri, W.; Wezel, F.C.
  • Moment tensor analysis of the central Italy earthquake sequence of September–October 1997
    Ekstrom, G.; Morelli, A.; Boschi, E.; Dziewonski, A.
  • The tectonic significance of italian magmatism: an alternative view to the popular interpretation
    Lavecchia, G.; Stoppa, F.
  • Extension in the Tyrrhenian Sea and shortening in the Apennines as a result of arc migration driven by sinking of the lithosphere
    Malinverno, A.; Ryan, W.B.F.
  • Structural development of the Neogene Radicondoli–Volterra and adjoining hinterland basins in Western Tuscany (Northern Apennines, Italy)
    Moratti, G.; Bonini, M.
  • Out-of-sequence thrusts
    Morley, C.J.

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