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Deformation predictive methods are useful for structural analysis from the scientific and industry point of view. We apply a strain simulation technique based on the inclusion of graphical strain markers in a cross;-section, and subsequent cross-section restoration and numerical processing of strain markers, to the seismic-scale Maiella Mountain anticline (Central Apennines, Italy) considered a carbonate reservoir analogue for Apennines oil fields. The procedure followed involves field mapping and structural data collection, construction of cross-sections, sequential cross-section restoration, and application of the strain simulation technique. The cross-sections presented were constructed adopting one of the various structural interpretations proposed for this structure by different authors. According to this interpretation the Maiella Mountain structure resulted from Messinian–Early Pliocene extension and subsequent Late Pliocene shortening. According to our structural model the Maiella structure is a break-thrust fold and the comparison between the present-day and the restored cross-sections yields 1.3–4.6% of extension associated with two main normal faults and 21.5–22.1% and 2.5–3.4% of shortening due to a major thrust and folding respectively. The simulation of deformation distribution shows high deformation intensity in both limbs and low deformation in the anticline crest and part of the thrust footwall.

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