Abstract

In southern Italy the Apenninic-Maghrebian Orogen developed during the Neogene Africa-Europe collision as a regional-scale duplex structure. It shows an allochthonous hangingwall, widely overlying a mostly carbonate footwall, consisting of the External Thrust System. This formed since the Tortonian by the detachment of the sedimentary covers of the continental margins of the Africa and Adria plates. In the Southern Apennines the duplex geometry has favoured oil-trapping and fields have been detected in ramp-anticlines of the buried edifice. Similar geometries have been inferred in eastern and central Sicily. The re-interpretation of regional profiles in Sicily based on new field data defines deep-seated geometries showing several potential oil traps and the External Thrust System could represent a new target for petroleum exploration in the region.

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