New field observations carried out in northeastern Tunisia (Kechabta Neogene basin) allowed us to clarify and pinpoint the chronology of the folding phases which had been the subject of contradictions in previous studies. To better understand the folding in the study area, a set of structural, lithostratigraphic and cartographic arguments are given in order to confirm the Atlassic folding phase (upper Tortonian) affecting rheologically weak and incompetent materials of the Neogene layers. In the Kechabta Neogene basin, the upper Tortonian folding is materialized by an unconformity between the Kechabta (Tortonian) and the Oued Bel Khedim (Messinian) formations. The highlight of this event allows us to identify the current fold structure of the study area as a superposition of two major folding episodes: The first one occurred during the upper Tortonian, and the second in the Early Quaternary (post-Villafranchian). The chronological consistency of the upper Tortonian folding in the Kechabta basin with the rest of the Tunisian chains allows for a better understanding of the collision context (Miocene to the Quaternary) which dominated the western Mediterranean Sea and steered the structural evolution of Tunisia.
International Journal of Earth Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 24, 2016
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