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Tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the frontal part of an ancient subduction complex at the transition from accretion to erosion; the case of the Ligurian wedge of the Northern Apennines, Italy

Francesca Remitti, Paola Vannucchi, Giuseppe Bettelli, Laura Fantoni, Filippo Panini and Paolo Vescovi
Tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the frontal part of an ancient subduction complex at the transition from accretion to erosion; the case of the Ligurian wedge of the Northern Apennines, Italy
Geological Society of America Bulletin (January 2011) 123 (1-2): 51-70

Abstract

Subduction can be associated either with accretion or with removal of material from the overriding plate. These two processes can either coexist or alternate in time along the same margin. Their inception has the potential to change the dynamic equilibrium of a marginal wedge resulting in the development of out-of-sequence thrusts, normal and strike-slip faults, or large submarine landslides in the frontal part of the subduction zone. In this work we investigate the effects of the transition from frontal accretion to frontal erosion on the stability of a subduction complex through the study of an ancient example from the northern Apennines (Ligurian subduction complex). New structural data suggest that in the early Neogene (Aquitanian), the removal and underthrusting of the toe of the wedge, formed by both the accreted oceanic sediments and the overlying wedge-top basin fill (i.e., the Subligurian units), implied a process of frontal tectonic erosion. The presence, on top of the subduction complex, of a complete succession of mid-late Eocene to late Miocene slope-apron sediments--i.e., the Epiligurian succession--facilitates a reconstruction of the sedimentary response to this event. In the Aquitanian, large areas of the wedge were denuded from the lower-slope sedimentary cover through extensive gravitational mass movements. The subsequent deposition of a thick body of submarine debris flows is documented. The mass-wasting deposits are interpreted as the sedimentary response to the underthrusting of the frontal part of the Ligurian subduction complex formed by the Subligurian units.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 123
Serial Issue: 1-2
Title: Tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the frontal part of an ancient subduction complex at the transition from accretion to erosion; the case of the Ligurian wedge of the Northern Apennines, Italy
Affiliation: Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Modena, Italy
Pages: 51-70
Published: 201101
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 112
Accession Number: 2011-012636
Categories: Solid-earth geophysicsStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., strat. col., geol. sketch maps
N43°45'00" - N45°10'00", E09°10'00" - E12°49'60"
N43°45'00" - N44°40'00", E07°45'00" - E10°04'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Universita di Firenze, ITA, ItalyUniversita di Parma, ITA, Italy
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201108
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