Abstract

The Sicily chain is a segment of the Apennines-Maghrebides belt. It is composed of foreland-verging tectonic units overridden onto a thick Mesozoic-Tertiary carbonate platform (Hyblean-Pelagian Block p.p.). The chain units are mostly composed of pelagic basin and thin carbonate platform rocks. The Hyblean-Pelagian Block has extensional deformation in Southeastern Sicily (foreland) and contractional geometries in Western Sicily, and had an indented fault-controlled margin during the Mesozoic and Tertiary. The orientation of the salients and recesses of this margin with respect to the Tertiary tectonic transport direction may have dictated the present-day structural arrangement of the Western Sicily belt, consisting of a curved map-view fold-and-thrust pattern, to form a salient geometry. The collected meso-structural data along the western flank of the Sicily salient, between the S. Vito-Palermo Mts. in the north and the Sicani-Sciacca Mts. in the south suggest transpression during contractional tectonics. The convergent direction, not parallel to the deformed foreland plate fault-indenter margin, is represented by oblique-slip thrusting, with associated rotation, about vertical axes, of the overlying laterally tapered thrust sheets. Oblique convergence induces oblique ramp development, of regional extent, of the basinal chain units onto the Hyblean-Pelagian Block outcropping in Western Sicily.

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