Abstract

The Umbria-Marche Apennines provide a new region in which the nature of passive-margin extensional faulting can be studied in outcrop. In these dominantly pelagic carbonate rocks of Jurassic and Cretaceous age, horsts acted as shallow, nonvolcanic seamounts, while tilted half grabens formed deeper basins. One well-exposed seamount-basin transition agrees in general with the model of listric normal faulting and tilted half grabens, but shows interesting and significant divergences when studied in detail. A small sedimentary wedge at the faulted margin of a horst-block seamount thickens unexpectedly toward the adjacent basin. This wedge developed because of local convex-upward curvature of the shallowest part of a fault which at depth must have concave-up, listric geometry. The local sedimentary wedge resulted from deposition on the hanging wall as it tilted, followed by differential compaction of younger limestones that lapped onto the gentle slope leading from the horst-block seamount toward the basin. The map pattern of listric normal faulting in the Umbria-Marche Apennines suggests that both principal strain axes were extensional, in contrast to the usual pattern of listric faults crossed by transfer faults.

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