Recent Evolution and Seismicity of the Mediterranean Region

Volume 402 of the series NATO ASI Series pp 161-171

Tyrrhenian Basin and Apennines. Kinematic Evolution and Related Dynamic Constraints

  • E. PataccaAffiliated withDip. Scienze della Terra Università
  • , R. SartoriAffiliated withDip. Scienze Geologiche Università
  • , P. ScandoneAffiliated withDip. Scienze della Terra Università

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The post-Oligocene kinematic evolution of the central Mediterranean region is synthetically described. The proposed reconstruction is based on a comparative study of tectonically- controlled sedimentary sequences and of coeval tectonic features in areas experiencing stretching (Algero-Provençal Basin, Tyrrhenian Basin) and shortening (Apennines). The derived step by step palinspastic reconstruction at Langhian times states a number of constraints for the geodynamic processes that affected the area during Neogene and Quaternary times. Both continental (often thinned) and oceanic lithosphere were involved in subduction processes. The former prevailed in the northern sector, while both oceanic and continental lithosphere were present in the southern area. The long duration of the subduction processes in the southern sectors may be related to the existence of large portions of sinking oceanic lithosphere which dragged down intervening portions of continental lithosphere.