Abstract

Microplate Apulia, partly represented by rocks in western continental Greece, was part of the Gondwana foreland during closure of the Tethys Ocean in the Tertiary. In the earliest Tertiary, Greek Apulia was partitioned into carbonate shoals and intervening pelagic troughs. As Eurasia overrode and flexurally deformed Apulia, a forebulge developed that migrated toward an Apulia carbonate shelf at a rate of 0.5-1 cm/yr. Forebulge uplift led to subaerial exposure of platform, carbonates, karstification, and bauxite formation. Related flexural extension fractured the foundering neritic carbonates, giving rise to carbonate breccias that intermingled with flysch mud as the bulge migrated away toward the shelf. Flysch sand influx was initially restricted to a Pindos pelagic trough, but later, through foundering of the carbonate shoals, the flysch basin widened to span the region between the Apulia shelf margin and the Eurasia hinterland. The Greek flysch is dominantly muddy but contains abundant sand and gravel at certain stratigraphic intervals. A coarsening-up trend in basal strata reflects encroachment of the source areas on the Eurasia plate. The flysch accumulated in two main depositional systems: (1) submarine slopes of fan deltas and (2) elongate basins joining the toes of the fan deltas and constricted by the carbonate highs. Paleocurrents indicate longitudinal input from the north and lateral input from the east (present coordinates). Shallow-marine and terrestrial remnants of the flysch feeder systems are exposed east of the flysch outcrop belt, in the Mesohellenic Trough.

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