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Influence of structural framework on mountain slope deformation in the Maiella Anticline; Central Apennines, Italy

Influence of structural framework on mountain slope deformation in the Maiella Anticline; Central Apennines, Italy

Geomorphology 60(3-4): 417-432

Relationships between tectonic framework and gravity-driven phenomena have been investigated in an area of the Central Apennines (Italy) characterised by high relief. The north-south, half-dome shaped Maiella anticline lies in the easternmost part of the Apennine fold-and-thrust belt. Its backlimb is bordered by the Caramanico Fault, a normal fault with a maximum downthrown of about 3.5 km that separates the western slope of the Maiella Massif from the Caramanico Valley. The southwestern Maiella area is affected by deep-seated gravitational slope deformation indicated by major double crest lines, down-hill and up-hill facing scarps, a pattern of crossing trenches, bulging at the base of slopes and the presence of different types of landslide and talus slope deposits. The onset and development of deep-seated gravitational slope deformations and the location of Quaternary, massive rockslope failures have been strongly influenced by the structural framework and tectonic pattern of the anticline. Deep-seated gravitational slope deformation at Mt. Macellaro-Mt. Amaro ridge has developed along the Maiella western, reverse slope in correspondence with the anticline axial culmination; it is bordered at the rear by a NNW-SSE oriented, dextral, strike-slip fault zone and has an E-W direction of rock mass deformation. Closer to the southern plunging area of the anticline, gravity-driven phenomena show instead a N-S and NW-SE direction, influenced by bedding attitude. 3D topographic models illustrate the relationship between deep-seated gravitational slope deformation and massive rockslope failures. The Campo di Giove rock avalanche, a huge Quaternary failure event, was the result of an instantaneous collapse on a mountain slope affected by a long-term gravity-driven deformation.

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Accession: 019205356

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DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2003.10.004

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