Geosciences (Apr 2021)

Constraining the Passive to Active Margin Tectonics of the Internal Central Apennines: Insights from Biostratigraphy, Structural, and Seismic Analysis

  • Giovanni Luca Cardello,
  • Giuseppe Vico,
  • Lorenzo Consorti,
  • Monia Sabbatino,
  • Eugenio Carminati,
  • Carlo Doglioni

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 4
p. 160


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The polyphase structural evolution of a sector of the internal Central Apennines, where the significance of pelagic deposits atop neritic carbonate platform and active margin sediments has been long debated, is here documented. The results of a new geological survey in the Volsci Range, supported by new stratigraphic constraints from the syn-orogenic deposits, are integrated with the analysis of 2D seismic reflection lines and available wells in the adjacent Latin Valley. Late Cretaceous syn-sedimentary faults are documented and interpreted as steps linking a carbonate platform to the adjacent pelagic basin, located to the west. During Tortonian time, the pelagic deposits were squeezed off and juxtaposed as mélange units on top of the carbonate platform. Subsurface data highlighted stacked thrust sheets that were first involved into an initial in-sequence propagation with top-to-the-ENE, synchronous to late Tortonian foredeep to wedge-top sedimentation. We distinguish up to four groups of thrust faults that occurred during in-sequence shortening (thrusts 1–3; about 55–60 km) and backthrusting (thrust 4). During Pliocene to recent times, the area has been uplifted and subsequently extended by normal faults cross-cutting the accretionary wedge. Beside regional interest, our findings bear implications on the kinematic evolution of an orogenic wedge affected by far-traveled units.