Abstract

The area of the Longi-Galati-S. Salvatore di Fitalia-Frazzano quadrangle in the Peloritani chain, already the subject of about ten conflicting cartographic interpretations, presents several different stratigraphic successions of the basement's cover, in spite of its limited areal extent. Analysis of these successions and comparison between them and with those of neighbouring and distant zones has allowed a reconstruction of the palaeophysiography and of the facies palaeodomains and their original locations. During Early and Middle Liassic times the palaeodomains were characterised by physiographic and structural evolution, which forced them around rhombocasms from possible transtensions (e.g. the palaeodomain of Longi) surrounded by carbonate platforms. In the Middle Jurassic the platforms (e.g. of Galati) were drowned to become ensialic seamounts with condensed pelagic sedimentation; in the Late Cretaceous, following the sharp rotation of the Africa v/s Europe drift direction, "push-ups" and/or "flowers" structures developed; subsequent detachment of megabreccias, which were deposited in the adjacent depressions, and sedimentation of Scaglia occurred simultaneously. During the Early to Middle Miocene, the change in compressional regime from Alpine to Mediterranean (specifically to the Ionian trend related to emplacement of the whole Calabrian Arc) caused overthrusting of the materials of the mesozoic palaeodomains, in a system of three Nappes and two secondary tectonic units, respectively Galati, Longi, Fondachelli-Mandrazzi and Frazzano and P.so d'Armi. These units were thrust on to the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Argille Varicolori of the Sicilide domain. The Fondachelli-Mandrazzi Nappe would at least have supplied the detritus for the Oligocene-Aquitanian Frazzano Flysch on the palaedomain of Longi; the Aspromonte Nappe--probably already in place outside the Longi area--would have supplied the detritus for the so called Capo d'Orlando Flysch molasse that mantles previously emplaced nappes. The position of the "Sicilidi" materials occurring both under (as in the Longi area) and above the Calabride layers (in the latter case structurally designated the "Antisicilidi", as in the south-easternmost zone under examination) will be attributed to the twisting course of the "Taormina line" during the migration of the Calabrian Arc towards the Ionian Basin. The proliferation of incompatible geological maps is considered to be the result of both the inadequacy of facies analysis on the varied and newly described stratigraphic columns, derived from lithoformational assemblages, and from the difficulty of discriminating between stratigraphic and structural parameters.

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