Mechanical stratigraphy and (palaeo-) karstification of the Murge area (Apulia, southern Italy)
Carl Jacquemyn, Rudy Swennen, Paola Ronchi, 2012. "Mechanical stratigraphy and (palaeo-) karstification of the Murge area (Apulia, southern Italy)", Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis, J. Garland, J. E. Neilson, S. E. Laubach, K. J. Whidden
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The Cretaceous Apulia Platform, exposed in the Murge area (southern Italy), suffered intense (palaeo)karstification. This study focuses on the controlling factors of karstification with emphasis on fracturing. Mechanical stratigraphy was used to calculate the fracture density within different sedimentary sequences. Several mechanical units were defined and a characteristic relationship was found between unit thicknesses and fracture density, that is, fracture density increases if layer thickness decreases. In some of the quarries studied, sedimentary cycles are clearly present that are also reflected in the fracture density logs. The degree of karstification within a mechanical unit is proportional to the mean fracture spacing. Based on fracture orientation data extracted from LIDAR scans, different orientation clusters were observed between fractures that are karstified and fractures that are not karstified, post-dating karstification. The clusters of karstified fractures are related to the compression of the southern Apennines. The fractures became dissolution enlarged during the Pleistocene uplift caused by bulging of the Apulia Platform. This main karstification phase occurred prior to Late-Pleistocene deposition and before the formation of orthogonal fracture sets.