Geologische Rundschau

, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 363–371 | Cite as

The effects of pre-existing normal faults on thrust ramp development: An example from the northern Apennines, Italy

  • E. Tavarnelli
Original Paper


The Umbria-Marche foreland fold-and-thrust belt in the northern Apennines of Italy provides excellent evidence to test the hypothesis of synsedimentary-structural control on thrust ramp development. This orogenic belt consists of platform and pelagic carbonates, Late Triassic to Miocene in age, whose deposition was controlled by significant synsedimentary extension. Normal faulting, mainly active from Jurassic through Late Cretaceous-Paleogene time, resulted in significant lateral thickness variability within the related stratigraphic sequences. By Late Miocene time the sedimentary cover was detached from the underlying basement and was deformed by east-verging folds and west-dipping thrusts. Two restored balanced cross sections through the southernmost part of the belt show a coincidence between the early synsedimentary normal faults and the late thrust fault ramps. These evidences suggest that synsedimentary tectonic structures, such as faults and the related lithological lateral changes, can be regarded as mechanically important controlling factors in the process of thrust ramp development during positive tectonic inversion processes.

Key words

Umbria-Marche Apennines Synsedimentary normal faults Thrust ramps Mechanical heterogeneities Positive tectonic inversion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH & Co KG 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Tavarnelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della TerraSienaItaly

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