Abstract

On the basis of a new tectonic map, a pattern for thrust activation in the Penninic sector of the Ligurian Alps, up to the Penninic front, has been deduced by collating and comparing knowledge from detailed mapping, and analysis of the stratigraphy, structure and metamorphism of each nappe of the pile. Kinematic evolution developed within an inclined megashear zone, located at a depth of about 30 km, by the progressive activation of hinterland-dipping thrusts. By taking into account all local data, the reconstruction provides evidence that the Alpine tectonics has been strictly guided by Pre-Alpine structure. Not only has mechanical stratigraphy afforded decollement surfaces, but also, at previous extensional boundaries between adjacent sectors, rocks with different rheologies have been juxtaposed, thus controlling the location of frontal ramps, the downdip width of thrust surfaces, and the extent of transport at every deformational step.

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