This work addresses the tectonic significance of a NW–SE-trending strike-slip fault zone in the Calabrian Arc of southern Italy, the Rossano–San Nicola Fault Zone (RSFZ). High-quality seismic reflection and 1D forward models of exploration boreholes and pseudo-wells show that the RSFZ experienced multiple Miocene phases of contractional/transpressional tectonics. These were followed by crustal extension during the Pliocene, which occurred in association with the oceanization of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Apennine orogenesis, and collision between the Calabrian Arc and adjacent tectonic plates. Such a setting had a profound influence on the Crotone Basin and its economic potential: (1) tectonic reactivation allowed reservoir units of the Crotone Basin to be charged by gas derived from Triassic/Lower Jurassic source rocks; and (2) source rocks reached their maximum depth and remained in the gas generation window after the emplacement of a large mass-transport complex in the Pliocene. In the surrounding areas, tectonic activity near the RSFZ contributed to source-rock maturation by enhancing local sedimentation rates, particularly during Langhian (Middle Miocene) and Zanclean (early Pliocene) tectonics. This work is important as it demonstrates that the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Crotone Basin was closely related to the structural evolution of the RSFZ. Crucially, the study area reveals the first example of a gas field fully sealed by a large mass-transport complex. As a corollary, we tie the Late Cenozoic geological history of the Crotone Basin to the geodynamic evolution of the central Mediterranean region, namely the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. We identify new prospects in the Crotone Basin, and provide a time frame for gas generation and accumulation in southern Italy.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.