Pre-Quaternary orogen-parallel extension in the Southern Apennine Belt, Italy

Ferranti, L.; Oldow, J.S.; Sacchi, M.

Tectonophysics 260(4): 325-347


ISSN/ISBN: 0040-1951
DOI: 10.1016/0040-1951(95)00209-x
Accession: 019764567

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The Southern Apennine fold and thrust belt differs from other parts of the peri-Tyrrhenian orogen. In most of the peri-Tyrrhenian belt, hinterland extension is oriented at a high-angle to the orogen axis and appears to be related to rifting and formation of oceanic crust within the Tyrrhenian basin. The Southern Apennines share the late -stage development of normal faults related to the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea, but also experienced an episode of extension parallel to the strike of the tectonic belt. The orogen-parallel extension was apparently formed in response to the increase in length of the deformed belt during arcuation. Arcuation ostensibly was related to asymmetrical rifting in the hinterland, which was greater in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea than in areas to the north, and proportionately greater shortening in the frontal parts of the southern belt as compared to regions in the north. During arcuation, extension was spatially concentrated within structural domains and was accomplished by displacement on low-angle detachment faults cutting through a previously imbricated thrust stack. During the Miocene-Pliocene, NNW-SSE extension in the interior of the Southern Apennine belt formed coevally with ENE-WSW shortening in the foreland. Longitudinal extension ceased in the Pleistocene, when younger high-angle normal faults formed in response to the easterly migration of Tyrrhenian Sea rifting and NE-SW extension associated with lithospheric stretching.