Abstract

The study of geological evolution of a multiphase orogenic belt is complex, expecially when the tectonic events are superimposed in a coaxial fashion. The Sicilian fold-and-thrust belt represents an interesting case study, as a non-coaxial superimposition of structures is recognizable, owing to large synkinematic clockwise rotations during each of two subsequent compressional events. These rotations involved also the syntectonic basins that developed in the wedge-top depozone. This study aims to constrain the tectono-depositional evolution of the NW Sicily fold-and-thrust belt and the associated wedge-top depozone between the middle Miocene and the early Pliocene. Integrated analyses of stratigraphic, sedimentological and structural field data allow us to better constrain the transition between the two tectonic events. The syntectonic basins developed during the first (late Serravallian–early Tortonian) tectonic event were relatively wide and characterized by marine sedimentation. The onset of the second (latest Tortonian) transpressional event induced localized deformation into the wedge-top depozone and the syntectonic successions were accommodated as basin fill in progressively narrower and laterally discontinuous basins, bounded by transpressional structures. The lateral correlation of the wedge-top successions suggests a latest Miocene regional palaeoslope with a present-day WSW dip, which fits well with the tectonic transport calculated for the early compressional event.

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