Abstract

This paper focuses on the geometry, kinematics and relationships between the tectonic structures of the Mt. Vesole-Mt. Chianello ridge located in Cilento (Southern Italy). The area corresponds to an internal sector of the southern Apennines Neogene thrust-and-fold belt that developed as a result of the deformation of the neo-Tethyan ocean (Liguride units Auct.) and of the African continental margin ("Apenninic carbonate platform"). The Liguride units are unconformably overlaid with a Langhian to Tortonian turbiditic succession (Cilento Group). This study was carried out by means of a detailed stratigraphic analysis of the Meso-Cenozoic carbonate succession, geological mapping, on scale 1:10.000, the reconstruction of five geologic sections using the dip domain method, and a structural analysis. Fault-bend folding and fault-propagation folding models were applied in order to reveal the deep geometry of the mapped folds. Four groups of structures based on structural geometry, overprint relationships and stratigraphic events, were recognized. The oldest structures (Phi 1) correspond to the foreland-verging overthrusting of the Liguride units above the Meso-Cenozoic succession of the Apenninic carbonate platform. This overthrusting corresponds to the beginning of the continental collision that occurred during the Langhian. Successively NNE- and NE-verging folds and thrusts (Phi 2) that affect the Meso-Cenozoic carbonates were generated. The occurrence of (i) carbonate blocks within the lower part of the Cilento Group succession, and of (ii) an angular unconformity affecting the Meso-Cenozoic succession covered by upper Serravallian-lower Tortonian quarzolithic sandstones, suggests that NE-verging structures were active between the Langhian and the Serravallian. Later on SW-verging folds and thrusts (Phi 3) gave rise to a general tilting towards the NE of the previously formed structures. The hinterland-verging structures affecting the Cilento Group formed during the Tortonian. Plio-Quaternary high-angle faults characterized by both normal and strike-slip kinematics offset the whole thrust-and-fold belt, hence contributing to the definition of the present-day geostructural setting of this sector of the southern Apennines.

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