Miocene to present major fault linkages through the Adriatic indenter and the Austroalpine–Penninic collisional wedge (Alps of NE Italy)
M. Massironi, D. Zampieri, A. Caporali, 2006. "Miocene to present major fault linkages through the Adriatic indenter and the Austroalpine–Penninic collisional wedge (Alps of NE Italy)", Tectonics of the Western Mediterranean and North Africa, G. Moratti, A. Chalouan
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From the Miocene onwards, the Alpine and South Alpine domains have been closely coupled within the framework of fault kinematics and geodynamic processes related to the continuing indentation of the Adria plate against Europe. In this study, the post-Oligocene evolution of a wide sector of the North Adriatic indenter border and nearby areas is re-examined in an extensive regional context by means of structural, geochronological and seismotectonic data. The Adria northern edge roughly corresponds to the Periadriatic lineament which is characterized in the central–eastern Alps by an abrupt change of orientation from east-west to NNE–SSW at the North Giudicarie line. Several strike-slip fault linkages have developed along the northern and southern sections of this major fault since the Miocene. In the Alpine domain, fault connections facilitated tectonic unroofing of the deeper nappes (Penninic units) in the Tauern window and a westward crustal stretching of the upper nappes (Austroalpine units) in the Brenner detachment hanging wall. In the Southern Alps, several fault linkages are observed, which are related to reactivation of inherited faults by the indentation process. These processes began during the early Miocene, were fully developed in the latest Miocene-early Pliocene, and are very probably still continuing. The final result is a complex shear zone of 250 km length, that in the southern part is considered as an incipient divide between the nearly stationary westernmost part of the North Adriatic indenter and the still northward-pushing main body of the Adria plate.
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This book provides an insight into the overall tectonic evolution of the Western Mediterranean region and North Africa. The tectonic setting of the region reflects a long-lived and complex evolution, mainly related to the Alpine Orogeny. This inheritance is expressed by an intricate pattern of arc-shaped mountain chains, the Alps, the Betic–Rif Cordilleras and the Apennine–Maghrebian belt, whose southern branches mark the present limit between the African and Eurasian plates. The volume covers the Maghrebian chains in North Africa, from Tunisia to Morocco and the Western and Central Mediterranean, from Spain to Italy from the pre-orogeric phases (Palaeozoic–Mesozoic) to the post-collisional neotectonic and Quaternary development. It includes both original research papers and syntheses dealing with the aspects of structural, sedimentary, metamorphic and marine geology.