Abstract

The aim of this paper is to define the structural geometry and kinematics of Neogene deformation of the Matese Massif in order to validate the applicability of either thin-skinned or thick-skinned compressive styles in the Apennines. The Matese structure appears as a single N-vergent thrust sheet above a low angle thrust fault, which was later deformed by footwall thrust sheets. The massif is composed mainly of Mesozoic carbonates of inner platform to by-pass and slope facies, separated within the thrust sheet by high angle faults with small component of reverse displacements. These faults acted as normal faults in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic and affected the carbonate facies distribution. During Neogene compression they were mildly reactivated and then passively truncated by the basal short-cut thrust fault that cut from pre-Triassic units to Jurassic dolostone towards the foreland. Finally, Quaternary extensional tectonics dissected the thrust sheet displacing it by up to 1000 m. This has resulted in the present-day structural setting of the Matese Massif as a horst bounded to the SW and NE by extensional basins filled with continental deposits.

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