Formation of arc-shaped orogenic belts in the Western and Central Mediterranean: a palaeomagnetic review
Francesca Cifelli, Chiara Caricchi, Massimo Mattei, 2016. "Formation of arc-shaped orogenic belts in the Western and Central Mediterranean: a palaeomagnetic review", Palaeomagnetism in Fold and Thrust Belts: New Perspectives, E. L. Pueyo, F. Cifelli, A. J. Sussman, B. Oliva-Urcia
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During the past few decades, palaeomagnetism has been used as a powerful tool for constraining kinematic models of curved orogenic systems, because of its great potential in quantifying vertical axis rotations and in discriminating between primary and secondary (orocline s.l.) arcs. The Mediterranean area has represented an attractive region to apply palaeomagnetic analysis, as it shows a large number of narrow arcs, defining an irregular and rather diffuse plate boundary. This paper is intended to be an updated review on the contribution of palaeomagnetism to the reconstruction of the Neogene geodynamic evolution of the arc-shaped orogenic belts in the Western and Central Mediterranean Basin. The Gibraltar Arc, the Northern Apennines and the Calabria Arc are here described, underlining the common and the different features that characterize these arcuate mountain chains. In particular, the mechanisms that lead to the present-day shape of these arcs (the subduction process) will be discussed, in the general framework of the geometry and space–time evolution of the Mediterranean subduction system.
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Palaeomagnetism is a technique used to understand complex deformation patterns in fold-and-thrust belts; it can be used to characterize the distribution, magnitude and timing of vertical axis rotations, an elusive variable using other methods. A combination of palaeomagnetic and structural geology analyses has helped to unravel the geometry and kinematics of fold-and-thrust belts around the world and of different geological ages for more than 50 years. This volume comprises three sections: the first shows thorough overviews of western Mediterranean arcs and the western Carpathians; the second depicts several examples from the Andes, the Alps, Anatolia, Pyrenees, Iberian Ranges and the Atlas; and the third shows the latest research on the use of palaeomagnetism to understand fold-and-thrust belts in 3D and 4D in a more quantitative way and it also includes some methodological proposals to avoid common errors. In the papers of the first two sections, the combination of palaeomagnetic analyses with structural data, AMS or magnetostratigraphic analyses demonstrate the usefulness of palaeomagnetism in deciphering complex deformation patterns in fold-and-thrust belts.