Abstract

Sicily owes its complex geological structure to a switch in tectonic regime from the Mesozoic to the Tertiary. A set of tectonic units outcrops in the northern portion of the island that originated during the Tertiary at the expense of paleogeographic domains of the African Mesozoic continental margin. The pre-orogenic successions show different types of deformation (extensional and transcurrent) related to the Jurassic paleotectonic evolution of the southern Neotethys margin. The history of the tectonic inversion of the Neotethys shear zone is recorded in the Cretaceous strata. Extension occurred during late Cretaceous and may be compatible with the tensile stress field related to the Sicilide basin opening. The Neogene deformations are linked to collisional processes and are mostly represented by thrusts and folds. Since the late Miocene onwards, the formation of the Tyrrhenian basin has driven the recent tectonic evolution of Northern Sicily. Its basin formation was realised through extension, followed by transcurrent tectonics along its southern margin.

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