Abstract

While the upper crustal structure of the Southern Apennines is known, lack of control on the deep structure allows competing thin-skinned and thick-skinned models of the orogen. In thin-skinned models, the detachment decouples a stack of rootless nappes from the basement. In thick-skinned models, basement is involved in the most recent phase of thrusting. To examine crustal structure, we use teleseismic data from the Calabria-Apennine-Tyrrhenian/Subduction-Accretion-Collision Network (CAT/SCAN) array in southern Italy. We use receiver functions (RF) processed into a common conversion point stack to generate images of the crust. Interpretation and correlation to geological structure are done using inversions of individual station RFs. We focus on a shallow discontinuity where P-to-S conversions occur. In the foreland, it corresponds to velocity jumps between carbonate and clastic strata with basement. A similar interpretation for the Apennines provides the most parsimonious explanation and supports a thick-skinned interpretation. In a thick-skinned reconstruction, the amount of shortening is much smaller than for a thin-skinned model. This implies considerably less Pliocene–Pleistocene shortening across the Apennines and suggests an east-southeast motion of the Calabrian arc subparallel to the southern Apennines rather than a radial expansion of the arc.

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