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Vol. 35, n.139, September 1993
pp. 339 - 347

Calabrian arc tectonics from seismic exploration

A. Del Ben

Abstract

Interpretation of a detailed seismic exploration dataset of the Tyrrhenian, Ionian Sea and Messina Strait areas, integrated with geological and useful boreholes stratigraphic informations, allows us to reconstruct in a fairly controlled manner, the complex tectonic setting of the Calabrian Arc. This paper limits its investigation to the young Neogene-Quaternary deformation process. The seismo-structural analysis indicates that there is fully reliable evidence of dominant active thrusting deformation in the Ionian side of the arc and off the southern extremity of the Aspromonte, while in the Messina Strait, Gioia and Paola troughs, distensive faults and lateral strike-slip motions are evident. The Tyrrhenian opening process has determined in the Calabrian Arc region a complex orogenic system, for the most part submerged, where thrusted blocks coming from the Apulian Platform, the paleo-deep basin of the Ionian west- graben (Lagonegrese), the Apennine platform, the Tyrrhenian basin and the SE European plate margin are piled up. The uppermost overthrusting blocks system of Calabrides is limited to the N by the left-lateral strike-slip fault of Palinuro, and to the S by the more important right lateral transcurrent fault of the Southern Tyrrhenian (Taormina fault). The Palinuro fault has affected m the Calabria area only the E-moving thrusts. The southern Tyrrhenian transcurrent fault seems of lithospheric dimension in the Tyrrhenian area and of difficult interpretation in the Ionian Sea, where it is intersected by the active Vulcano right lateral strike-slip, here evidently limited to the thrusting blocks.

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