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Mutual interactions between slope-scale gravitational processes and morpho-structural evolution of central Apennines (Italy): review of some selected case histories

Abstract

This short note focuses on the review of some selected large slope instabilities, such as massive rock slope failures, that occurred in slopes well representative of widespread morpho-structural settings in the central Apennines (Italy). The analyses of such case histories highlight (a) the role of inherited geological and morpho-structural features on failure mechanisms and (b) the interplay between such processes and the Quaternary morpho-structural evolution of the mountain chain. Some of the here described rock slope failures are framed within wider slope sections showing evidence of slope-scale gravitational deformation processes. Some cases demonstrate that the activation of the latter is strongly controlled by stress variations induced on the slopes by the combination of erosional processes and tectonic offset, i.e. topographic stress increase that typically accompanied the Quaternary morpho-structural evolution of the orogen. Furthermore, some case studies confirm also for central Apennine that the occurrence of large-sized rock slope failures actively contributed to morpho-genesis, as the effect of the deposition of the related debris on the valley bottom can result in long-term impacts on environmental conditions, such as topographic, hydrologic and hydrogeological variations.

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Correspondence to Carlo Esposito.

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This peer-reviewed article is part of a coordinated collection of scientific researches on the comparative evolution of the intermontane basins of the central-southern Apennines.

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Esposito, C., Di Luzio, E., Scarascia Mugnozza, G. et al. Mutual interactions between slope-scale gravitational processes and morpho-structural evolution of central Apennines (Italy): review of some selected case histories. Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei 25, 151–165 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12210-014-0348-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12210-014-0348-3

Keywords

  • Massive rock slope failure
  • DSGSD
  • Morpho-structural evolution
  • Central Apennines