International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 863–877 | Cite as

AMS fabric and tectonic evolution of Quaternary intramontane extensional basins in the Picentini Mountains (southern Apennines, Italy)

  • M. PorrecaEmail author
  • M. Mattei
Original Paper


In this work, we report the results of combined geological, structural, and anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) studies carried out on Quaternary deposits in the Picentini Mountains, southern Apennines (Italy). The study concerns four small continental basins, Acerno, Tizzano, Iumaiano, and Piano del Gaudo, related to fluvial–lacustrine depositional environments, ranging in altitude from 600 to 1,200 m a.s.l. and strongly incised during recent time. Stratigraphic and structural analyses, integrated by low- and high-field anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), show that the formation of these basins has been controlled by extensional and transtensional tectonics. Most of the AMS sites exhibit a well-defined magnetic foliation parallel to the bedding planes. A well-defined magnetic lineation has also been measured within the foliation planes. In the Iumaiano, Tizzano, and Piano del Gaudo basins, magnetic lineations cluster around NNE–SSW trend and are parallel to the stretching directions inferred by structural analysis of faults and fractures. On the basis of structural, sedimentological, and high-field AMS data, we suggest a tectonic origin for the magnetic lineation, analogously to what has been observed in other weakly deformed sediments from Neogene and Quaternary extensional basins of the Mediterranean region. Our results demonstrate that onset and the evolution of the investigated basins have been mainly controlled since lower Pleistocene by NW–SE normal and transtensional faults. This deformation pattern is consistent with a prevalent NE–SW extensional tectonic regime, still active in southern Apennines, as revealed by seismological and geodetic data.


Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) Extensional tectonics Quaternary Southern Apennines 



We want to thank M. Schiattarella, R. Soto, and D. Gioia for their useful comments and suggestions in reviewing the manuscript. F. Cifelli is also acknowledged for her helping during AMS sampling. We also thank A. Hirt for assistance during high field AMS measurements at the Laboratory of Natural Magnetism of ETH-Zurich. S. Porreca is acknowledged for editing assistance on Figs. 2 and 9. D. Di Lascio is acknowledged for field assistance. Financial support was provided by the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre (ex 60% funds), by MIUR through PRIN_2008 (grant # 2008HMHYFP- Massimo Mattei).


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© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos GeológicosUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  2. 2.Dipartimento Scienze GeologicheUniversità degli Studi di Roma TreRomeItaly

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