Abstract

Results from extended DSS profiles (1956-1966) in Italy and the surrounding land and sea areas offer good constraints for other geophysical and geological data. Integrated interpretations outline the mean tectonic features. Collisional tectonics is predominant in the Alps, where the Adriatic plate acted as hinterland for the European foreland plate. The main results are: west-, north-west- and north-oriented overthrusting on the European crust; bending of the lower European crust, European Moho to a 70 km depth, with the Adriatic mantle indented above and crustal doubling (the Adriatic over the European one). In the Apennines, on the contrary, the Adriatic plate acted as foreland, against the overthrusts generated by the Tuscan and Tyrrhenian mantels, which heated, elevated and migrated north-eastwards and south-eastwards, respectively. The Adriatic plate is also bending under this load- centripetal towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, so that the Adriatic Moho from a 35 km depth is presumed to descend through a flexure to 40-50 km below the Tuscan and Tyrrhenian coasts. The external peri-Apenninic area is still under compression and includes thick sedimentary basins, from the Po Plain to Sicily. The internal area is in extension, overlapped by thin, stretched crusts of Ligurian and Tyrrhenian origin, whose remnants occupy most of both sea's areas, with two areas of oceanic crust in the south-east Tyrrhenian. The suture band between the two areas is characterized by strong tectonic movement, where the Italian peninsula has its band of strongest seismicity. Rifting and opening is in action also in the Ligurian Sea and in the Strait of Sicily. To better utilize the existing DSS data, the sea-land ties on the coastal zone must still be completed.

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