1 Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei s. 9, v. 10: (1999) The interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation in forming stratigraphic sequences in the southern Apennines foreland basin system, Italy Memoria di Salvatore Critelli Abstract. Most of the regional shortening in the type area of the southern Italy orogenic belt, Calabria and southern Apennines, was accomodated by displacement on the Calabrian Terrane (Oligocene to middle Miocene), the Liguride and Sicilide Complex (lower to middle Miocene), the Alburni-Cervati- Pollino-Monti della Maddalena units (inner carbonate platform and slope; middle to upper Miocene), Lagonegro units (upper Miocene), the Monte Alpi unit (lower Pliocene) thrust systems. Inception of each thrust system generated synorogenic sediment associated with frontal thrust-tip anticlines or triangle zones and older thrust sheets that were elevated above major ramps farther toward the hinterland. The Neogene kinematic and sedimentary evolution of the southern Italy is related by shortening of the Apennines and Calabria and stretching of the Tyrrhenian Basin. The southern Italy orogenic belt consists of tectonic assemblages of Paleozoic crystalline rocks (various metamorphic rocks and plutonics), Triassic through upper Miocene platform to deep-marine carbonatic and siliceous rocks, Jurassic to Cretaceous ophiolites and related oceanic sedimentary strata, Paleogene to lower Miocene Subduction Complex assemblage, and lower Miocene through Pleistocene foreland clastic strata. Triassic through Quaternary clastic sediments are accumulated in tectonically diverse sedimentary basins, recording the key geodynamic events affected the Mediterranean region after the Late Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic breakup of Pangea. These sediments are generated following the onset of the sequential rift development and continental separation (Triassic to Early Jurassic), the Tethyan proto-oceanic rifting and open-ocean phases (Early-Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous), the Tethyan subduction and onset of Alpine orogenesis (Middle-Late Cretaceous to Paleogene), the Adria (or Apennines) orogenesis (early Miocene to present), and the Tyrrhenian backarc rifting (or Tyrrhenian phase; 15 Ma to present). The oldest (early-middle Triassic) siliciclastic sediments of southern Italy are on the Apulia plate (the buried base of the Apulia platform), the Monte Facito Formation of the Lagonegro Basin, and redbeds of Sardinia (Iberian plate). During Upper Triassic to Middle Jurassic, continental redbeds (rift-valley phase), and shelf-slope-basin sediments (proto-oceanic rift phase) having quartzose composition were accumulated directly on the crustal basement of the Iberia plate margin, in Calabria-Peloritani domain, but siliciclastics are absent on the southern Apulia plate. These sediments record the initial phases of the Tethyan rifting processes. Siliciclastic accumulations in southern Italy assemblages during the main alpine phases (Cretaceous to Paleogene) are scarse or absent. The Cretaceous to early Miocene alpine tectonic phases in southern Italy include remnants of the Alpine orogen (Calabrian Block) and quartzofeldspathic siliciclastic deposits of the Oligocene to early Miocene Paludi, Stilo-Capo d Orlando and Frazzanò formations, and volcanolithic, quartzolithic and quartzofeldspathic sands of the Calabro-Lucanian Flysch Unit. The siliciclastic deposits are directly related to new subduction plane of the Adriatic-Ionian oceanic lithosphere beneath the Iberia plate, generating an oceanic subduction complex (Liguride Complex of southern Italy), and a calcalkaline volcanic arc (Sardinia). From late Paleogene to the present, the siliciclastic sedimentary sequences of southern Italy filled basins that are directly related to this convergent setting, causing consumption of the oceanic lithosphere, and subsequent accretion of the Calabrian allochthonous terranes over the Adria-Africa plate, generating post-oligocene foreland basin systems. The composition as well as stratigraphic and structural relations of clastic sediments derived from erosion of the Calabrian microplate provide constraints for paleogeographic and tectonic models of southern Italy. Clastic detritus in the following sedimentary assemblages were derived mainly from provenance terranes within the strongly deformed Calabrian Arc allochthon: (A) the Paleogene «Calabro- Lucanian Flysch Unit» accretionary wedge, deposited in a remnant ocean basin that lay east of the Calabrian Arc and west of the Adria margin; (B) Burdigalian to lower Messinian foreland basin successions, widely developed in the southern Apennines, representing progressively shifted foredeep basins and related wedge-
2 258 s. critelli top basins; (C) Upper Tortonian to Messinian nonmarine to shallow-marine and deep-marine successions, cropping out on the western and eastern Calabrian Arc, representing synrift clastic wedges related to backarc rifting in the peri-tyrrhenian area (western sequences), or foreland clastic wedges in the peri-ionian area (eastern sequences); (D) Pliocene and Quaternary of the northern Calabrian Arc, represented by foredeep and related wedge-top basins on the eastern side (Gulf of Taranto and Corigliano Basin), and a slope basin on the western side, the eastern Tyrrhenian margin (Paola Basin). These receive detritus primarily from deep erosion of northern Calabria. The modern deep-marine basins of offshore northern Calabria have many similarities to the middle to upper Miocene clastic sequences in both foreland and backarc regions of the southern Italy. The type of sedimentary provenance of the southern Italy foreland basin system, providing an example of the changing nature of the orogenic belt through time, may contribute to general understanding and application of other major orogens. Key words: Mediterranean; Southern Italy; Sedimentary Basins; Tectonics; Clastic Sedimentation. Riassunto. Relazioni tra flessurazione della litosfera e messa in posto delle falde nella formazione di successioni stratigrafiche del sistema di bacino di avampaese dell Appennino meridionale, Italia. Le relazioni stratigrafiche, composizionali e strutturali delle successioni sedimentarie clastiche dell Appennino meridionale permettono di contribuire quantitativamente ai modelli tettonici e paleogeografici del sistema orogenetico dell Italia meridionale. I sedimenti clastici delle successioni sedimentarie post-oligoceniche erano derivati principalmente dalle unità tettonostratigrafiche alloctone dell arco calabro settentrionale. Le relazioni stratigrafico-composizionali dei sedimenti clastici dei bacini sedimentari interposti tra la microplacca calabra e quella adriatica implicano che la flessurazione litosferica della placca adriatica in congiunzione con l accomodamento tettonico delle falde cristalline calabridi sono stati importanti fattori di controllo nello sviluppo della sedimentazione del sistema di bacino di avampaese sudappenninico. Il carico litostatico causato dalla messa in posto delle falde calabridi sopra la placca adriatica, dal Miocene inferiore all attuale, hanno causato la deformazione flessurale della litosfera adriatica, producendo aree depresse profonde (bacino di avanfossa), aree lievemente innalzate (forebulge) e aree lievemente depresse (bacino di back-bulge). La migrazione verso est della flessurazione litosferica avveniva ad impulsi in risposta del trasporto verso est della catena a falde calabra. Nel tempo le aree occupate dal forebulge, a seguito degli spostamenti della catena a thrust verso est, venivano incorporate nel bacino di avanfossa. The Problem. Introduction This paper focuses on clastic sedimentation developed during the sequential history of an orogenic system, in the Mediterranean Region. These clastic trends, covering a large time span from Early Mesozoic to the present, may contribute: (1) to the paleogeographic and paleotectonic reconstructions of the southern Italy portions of the western Mediterranean orogen, and (2) to the general models of complex relationships between clastic sedimentation and paleotectonic history of other major orogens. The evolutionary record of Earth s processes preserved in the form of sedimentary rocks has been pivotal in paleogeographical and paleotectonic reconstructions of source/basin systems. Compositional trends of clastic strata through space and time are used to infer the structural history of adjacent mountain belts and to monitor the key geodynamic changes during orogenic processes (e.g. Dickinson, 1985, 1988). The controls on the composition and dispersal pathways of clastic strata along the convergent plate margins have long been debated (e.g. Dickinson, 1988; Ingersoll et
3 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 259 al., 1995). Clastic infilling of sedimentary basins in orogenic systems have been used as important indicators of tectonic activity and climatic changes. In the orogenic systems, clastic sedimentation may record the accretionary processes, the accomodation of the thrust units, and the flexural features of the foreland plate. The development of an orogenic wedge during continental collision results in thickening of the crust. The excess mass of this thickened crust acts as a load on the underthrust plate, causing it to be flexed downwards close to the load, so developing a foreland basin (e.g. Beaumont, 1981; Sinclair and Allen, 1992). During plate convergence, the vertically acting load of the mountain belt migrates over the foreland plate, thus resulting in the migration of the associated foreland basin. The foreland is the region between the front of a thrust belt and the adjacent craton (e.g. Dickinson, 1974; Bally and Snelson, 1980; Allen et al., 1986; Miall, 1995). Large volumes of clastic sediment are derived from erosion of the thrust belt and deposited in the foreland basin. The foreland basin generally is defined as an elongate trough that forms between a linear contractional orogenic belt and the stable craton, mainly in response to flexural subsidence caused by thrust-sheet loading in the orogen (fig. 1). Foreland basin stratigraphy records tectonic, eustatic, and climatic changes at convergent plate margins (e.g. Miall, 1995). The formation of unconformities is the results of the interplay of temporal variations in the erosion and lateral progradation rates of the orogenic wedge, as well as tectonic and eustatic sea-level changes (e.g. Beaumont, 1981; Jordan, 1981; Schedl and Wiltschko, 1984; Peper et al., 1995). Approach and Scope. This paper presents results of regional structural, stratigraphic and provenance relationships that constraint the post-oligocene tectonic history of the southern Apennines foreland basin system (fig. 2). The paper focuses on the effects of tectonic deformation along the Adria and the Calabrian microplates on siliciclastic sedimentary sequences during sequential history of the growing orogen in southern Italy. The stratigraphy, composition and dispersal pathways of the southern Apennines clastic sediments is interpreted using relationships between stratigraphic record and structural evolution of the fold-thrust belt to contribute to (1) the paleogeographic and paleotectonic reconstruction of the southern Apennines orogen and (2) the general models on sedimentary history of foreland basin systems. The key stratigraphic sequences of the southern Italy orogenic system are here described using new data and interpretations, or re-interpreting previous published data. The entire stratigraphic, compositional and structural data set are interpreted using new general models of sequential evolution of foreland basin systems. The Calabrian microplate is one of the fragments of continental crust of the western Mediterranean that rifted off the southern margin of the Iberian plate and drifted southeastward to collide with the Adria plate (e.g. Smith, 1971; Dewey et al., 1973, 1989; Biju-Duval et al., 1977; Cohen, 1980; Bouillin, 1984; Malinverno and Ryan, 1986; Channel and Mareschal, 1989; Patacca et al., 1990, 1993; Doglioni, 1991; Vai, 1992; Stampfli and Marchant, 1997; Gueguen et al., 1997, 1998; Cello and Mazzoli,
4 260 s. critelli Fig. 1. Diagrammatic cross sections showing the generally accepted notion of foreland-basin geometry (a, b) and the relationships of lithospheric flexure to accomodation space in foreland systems (c to e) (e.g. Giles and Dickinson, 1995; De Celles and Giles, 1996). a) General relationship between fold-thrust-belt, foreland basin and forebulge; b) foreland-basin geometry and depozones: wedge-top, foredeep, forebulge and back-bulge depozones; c to e) relationship of the flexural features in times; c) is the initial (Time 1) foreland system; d ) foreland evolution during accretion of the fold-thrust-belt at Time 2; forebulge is migrated cratonward; e) previous forebulge is assembled within the fold-thrust-belt. Modified after Giles and Dickinson (1995), and DeCelles and Giles (1996). 1999) (fig. 3). Exhumation of the Calabrian crustal terranes during rapid uplift and erosion since middle to late Oligocene to about 10 Ma (Thomson, 1994, 1998) has produced abundant clastic sediments that accumulated in 1) a Late Paleogene remnant ocean basin (the Liguride Complex), 2) numerous Neogene foredeep and wedge-top depozones of the foreland basin system of the growing orogenic belt and flexed Adria passive margin, and 3) since Late Tortonian, foreland basins and backarc syn-rift troughs (Critelli and Le Pera, 1998) (fig. 4). The modern physiography and geology of Calabria are the result of post-30 Ma geodynamic processes in which synchronous accretionary processes were active along the eastern flank (northern Ionian Sea), and rifting processes along the western flank (Eastern
5 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 261 Fig. 2. Present day distribution of the main geodynamic domains of the Alpine region. Modified after Stampfli and Marchant (1997).
6 262 s. critelli Fig. 3. Generalized map of the southern Peri-Tyrrhenian region, from Sardinia-Corsica to the Apulia. Modified after Critelli and Le Pera (1998). Tyrrhenian Margin). The modern setting includes two different styles of basins, A) the Corigliano Basin, on the Ionian side, a wedge-top depozone, located above thrust-sheets of the Calabrian Arc and southern Apennines terranes, and B) the Paola basin, on the Tyrrhenian side, a slope basin located on the eastern margin of the Tyrrhenian backarc basin (figs. 3, 4). Depositional Zones and Geometries. The Clastic infill of Foreland Basin Systems In foreland settings, subsidence and uplift are profoundly affected by lithospheric flexure. Foreland basin subsidence is primarily controlled by downflexing of the lithosphere in response to thrust loading (e.g. Jordan, 1981, 1995; Beaumont, 1981). Subsidence rate gradually decreases away from the thrust front producing an asymmetrical depression. Flexure uplift (forebulge) occurs as an isostatic response to downwarping and forms the distal margin of the foreland basin. Cratonward of the forebulge flexure, a broad shallow downwarp or intrashelf basin forms, the back-bulge basin (fig. 1; e.g. Quinlan and Beaumont, 1984; DeCelles and Giles, 1996).
7 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 263 Fig. 4. Chart showing major Mesozoic-Cenozoic tectonic and depositional events in southern Italy sedimentary assemblages. Modified after Critelli and Le Pera (1995a) and Critelli et al. (1995b). The dimension and amount of flexural subsidence and uplift produced by the flexural features (i.e., foreland basin, forebulge, back-bulge basin) primarily depend on the geometry and density of the tectonic load, rheology of the lithosphere, density and volume of the sediment infill, and amount of thrust wedge and forebulge erosion (e.g.
8 264 s. critelli Beaumont, 1981; Jordan, 1981; Vai, 1987; DeCelles and Giles, 1996; Sgrosso, 1998). East or northeast-dipping subductions generate thrust-belt having high-rilief, and shallow foreland basins having low subsidence rates; in contrast, west-dipping subductions generate thrust-belt having low relief, and deep foreland basins having high subsidence rates (e.g. Doglioni, 1994). The interrelationships between lithospheric flexure, single thrust accomodation within the accretionary wedge and flexural subsidence experiences geometrically complexes entities within the foreland region. The foreland basin system may be divided into four depozones, the wedge-top, the foredeep, the forebulge, and the back-bulge depozones (fig. 1; e.g. DeCelles and Giles, 1996). Boundary between depozones may shift laterally through time following the deformation advancing. The longitudinal dimension of the foreland basin system is roughly equal to the length of the adjacent fold-thrust belt (e.g. DeCelles and Giles, 1996). Wedge-Top Depozone. Large amounts of syntectonic sediment cover the frontal part of the fold-thrust-belt. The sediment that accumulates on top of the frontal part of the orogenic wedge constitutes the wedge-top depozone. Its extent toward the foreland is defined as the limit of deformation associated with the frontal tip of the underlying orogenic wedge. The main distinguishing characteristics of wedge-top deposits are the abundance of progressive unconformities (e.g. Riba, 1976) and various types of growth structures (folds, faults, cleavages; Boyer and Elliot, 1982; Cello and Nur, 1988; Srivastava and Mitra, 1994; DeCelles and Giles, 1996; Zuppetta and Mazzoli, 1997). Aerially extensive aprons of alluvial sediment or shallow shelf deposits commonly drape the upper surface of the orogenic wedge during periods the wedge is not deforming in its frontal part, and large, long-lived feeder canyons may develop and fill in the interior parts of orogenic wedges (e.g. Ori et al., 1986; DeCelles and Giles, 1996). Sediments of the wedge-top depozone typically reflect the erosion and unroofing of the thrust-belt (e.g. Critelli and Le Pera, 1994, 1995a, 1998; Trop and Ridgway, 1997). Foredeep Depozone. It is the mass of sediment that accumulates between the frontal tip of the orogenic wedge and the forebulge. Foredeeps are typically km wide and 2-8 km thick (e.g. DeCelles and Giles, 1996). Sediment is derived predominantly from the fold-thrust-belt, with minor contributions from the forebulge and craton (e.g. Schwab, 1986; DeCelles and Hertel, 1989; Critelli and Ingersoll, 1994; Critelli and Le Pera, 1998). Subaerial foredeeps receive sediment from both longitudinally and transversely flowing fluvial and alluvial deposystems, and subaqueous foredeeps are occupied by shallow lacustrine or marine deposystems that range from deltaic to shallow shelf to turbidite fans. Foredeep depozones have frequently recorded transitions from early deep-marine sedimentation («Flysch») to late coarse-grained, nonmarine and shallowmarine sedimentation «Molasse» (e.g. Covey, 1986; Crook, 1989; Sinclair and Allen, 1992). The transition from «Flysch» to «Molasse» most likely reflects the fact that foreland basin systems originate as oceanic trenches (or remnant ocean basin) and later become shallow marine or nonmarine as continental crust enters the subduction zone (e.g. Ingersoll et al., 1995; DeCelles and Giles, 1996).
9 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 265 Forebulge Depozone. It consists of the region of potential flexure uplift along the craton side of the foredeep. Because of forebulge depozone is a positive, and potentially migratory, feature, which may be eroded, its potential of preservation is low. One signal of the presence of an ancient forebulge may be the erosional unconformity surface. The forebulge generally is considered to be a zone of nondeposition or erosion, and the resulting unconformity may be used to track its position through time (e.g. Vai, 1987; Bosellini, 1989; Crampton and Allen, 1995; DeCelles and Giles, 1996; Sgrosso, 1998). In subaerial foreland basin systems (in which foredeep is not filled to the crest of forebulge) the forebulge may be a zone of erosion, with streams draining both toward and away from the orogenic belt (Crampton and Allen, 1995). If sediment derived from thrust-belt progrades into the forebulge, a thin condensed fluvial and aeolian sediment is deposited (DeCelles and Giles, 1996). In subaqueous foreland basin systems (in which foredeep is not filled up to the crest of forebulge), local carbonate platforms may develop in the forebulge depozone; extensive forebulge carbonate platforms and ramps can connect the foredeep with the back-bulge depozone (Giles and Dickinson, 1995). Back-bulge Depozone. It constitutes the sediment that accumulates between the forebulge depozone and the craton. Sediment contributions from the craton and development of carbonate platforms may be significant in submarine systems (e.g., DeCelles and Giles, 1996). Stratigraphic units in the back-bulge are generally much thinner than those in the foredeep, and consist of dominantly shallow-marine and nonmarine sediments. Sediment Compositions of Clastic Units. Lithologic Provenance Models. Foreland regions are one of the typical setting in which huge volumes of clastic sediments are rapidly accumulated. Provenance studies in this tectonic setting have long been used to contribute the complex history of the basin evolution, sediment dispersal pathways, dating major thrust events, and the unroofing history of the thrust-belt (e.g. Wiltschko and Dorr, 1983; Graham et al., 1986; Dickinson, 1988; Jordan et al., 1988; Steidtmann and Schmitt, 1988). Tectogenic sediments may be shed as alluvial fans in front of rising thrust sheets, and the age of these sediments may indicate the time of motion on some faults. In this setting, the uplift-erosion-transport-deposition system are genetically and intimately related to the style of deformation in thin-skinned, thrusted terrains. Transport of clastic sediment in the same direction as tectonic transport is the commonly assumed setting for the clastic-wedge/thrust association (e.g. Graham et al., 1986; Jordan et al., 1988; Steidtmann and Schmitt, 1988), that is named as «synthetic dispersal». However, opposite sediment dispersal pathways with rispect the tectonic transport is named as «anthitetic dispersal» (e.g. Steidtmann and Schmitt, 1988). The results is that sediment dispersal pathways in foreland basin systems are controlled by geometries within the thrust-sheet system, as frontal ramps, lateral ramps, diverse hanging-wall beds dip.
10 266 s. critelli In settings where distinct source-rock compositions are eroded sequentially, as in the case of predominantly vertical uplift of a stratigraphic section, «unroofing sequences» are commonly formed in the resultant clastic wedge (e.g. Graham et al., 1986; DeCelles, 1988; Steidtmann and Schmitt, 1988). This erosional inverted clast stratigraphy can provide valuable information about the evolving source and the identification of specific source areas (e.g. DeCelles, 1988; Colombo, 1994; Critelli and Ingersoll, 1994; Critelli et al., 1995a; Critelli and Le Pera, 1998). In the case of thin-skinned thrusted terrains (where horizontal transport dominates), layered rocks having different lithologies are exposed to erosion as they pass over a ramp providing a blended clastic dispersal of the exposed rock types. The resulting clastics may show no unroofing sequences, but include the same blended clast composition for relatively great thickness. These blended clastics may indicate that the source rocks were formed by tectonic transport over a ramp (e.g. Steidtmann and Schmitt, 1988). In thin-skinned thrust belts, both «unroofing sequences» and «blended clastics» can result in combinations. Large and Regional-Scale Models based on Sand(stone) Petrofacies. Numerous studies have demonstrated that sand (stone) from foreland basins are characterized by high framework percentages of quartz and unstable sedimentary and metamorphic lithic fragments, and the mean composition is quartzolithic (e.g. Dickinson, 1985, 1988; Schwab, 1986; DeCelles and Hertel, 1989; Critelli and Ingersoll, 1994). These studies provide a basis for interpretations of tectonic setting from sand (stone) composition. Sandstone petrofacies can be considered a reliable general guide to the overall tectonic settings of most sediment provenances; and although many processes may modify the composition of sedimentary detritus, the fundamental imprint of provenance tectonics is preserved in the final sedimentary products. The key petrofacies of various sedimentary basins occur most typically when transport is short and direct. In other cases sandstone petrofacies in many sedimentary basins have multiple sources showing complex paleotectonic and paleogeographic relationships to the basins (e.g. Dickinson, 1988). The foreland basin systems are a typical basin-setting in which multiple sources can be active in the same time, and the derivative sandstones may show mixed petrofacies (fig. 5; Dickinson et al., 1986; Schwab, 1986; Critelli and Le Pera, 1998). Schwab (1986) in a general statement of foreland-basin sandstone petrofacies testifies the complex pattern of provenance relationships during the foreland basin evolution. Quartzose sand is typical during the early stage of foreland infill, where the thrust-belt has low elevation and consequently supplies low amounts, whereas cratonal region is flexing and supplies more amounts (Dickinson et al., 1986; Cazzola and Critelli, 1987). Subsequent petrofacies is typical quartzolithic, when the thrust-belt is growing. Local provenances from magmatic arcs, uplifted subduction complexes or uplifted carbonate rocks of the forebulge only represent small amounts of the clastic record within foreland basin system. If thrust belt has severe uplift exposing the crustal basement, petrofacies can evolve to quartzofeldspathic sand (e.g. Critelli and Ingersoll, 1994; Garzanti et al., 1996; Critelli and Le Pera, 1998; Critelli and Reed, 1999).
11 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 267 Fig. 5. QmFLt (Qm = monocrystalline quartz, F = feldspars, Lt = aphanitic lithic fragments) diagram to illustrate concept of mixing detritus from different provenance types to produce detrital modes reflecting mixed provenance (from Dickinson, 1988). Typical foreland-basin sand suites were derived from uplifted fold-thrust belts exposing sedimentary and metasedimentary strata. The mixed provenance relations are also typical of some foreland basin systems and remnant ocean basins (i.e. southern Apennines foreland, Indus and Bengal fans of the Himalayan belt). During early stage of foreland infill, sand may derive from cratonal areas, generating quartzose sand. Subsequent petrofacies is quartzolithic, and during final foreland infill, petrofacies may be mixed and quartzofeldspathic. Foreland sandstone detrital modes reference data plotted are: the modern Amazonian foreland (open square; data from DeCelles and Hertel, 1989), the Himalayan foreland [Siwalik (filled triangle) and modern rivers (open triangle); data from Critelli and Ingersoll, 1994], the Bengal and Indus Fan (polygons; data from Garzanti et al., 1996), and the southern Apennines foreland (filled and open circles for Miocene sandstone, and polygon for Holocene Crati Fan; data from Critelli and Le Pera, 1994, 1995a). The arrows, symbols (filled triangle and square) and specific fields within the diagram show the sand suite trends from different generic types of provenance terranes (e.g. Dickinson, 1985, 1988). Southern Italy and environs: structure and evolution The study area is a transect across the Calabria block and Apulia platform (figs. 6, 7). The transect across the northern Calabria, calabro-lucanian boundary, the Campanian and Lucanian ranges, the Bradanic basin and Apulia foreland exposes all ages of rocks from lower Paleozoic to Quaternary. These rocks experienced a large series of geodynamic events, that are: (1) early to middle Paleozoic orogenesis, (2) Hercynian orogenesis and plutonism, (3) Pangean breakup; (4) Tethyan rifting and subsequent oceanization; (5) Alpine deformation; (6) oceanic subduction and related subduction complex, accretionary wedge, and arc-volcanism; (7) Apennine accretionary processes
12 268 s. critelli Fig. 6. Geographic sketch map showing localities cited in the text. on Adriatic-Ionian lithosphere, related to roll-back of the subduction plane; (8) Backarc rifting (Tyrrhenian Sea); (9) Backarc oceanization, and deformation and dissection of the Apenninic accretionary wedge and Adria.
13 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 269 Fig. 7. Geological sketch map of the main tectonostratigraphic units of the Southern Apennines (A) and the Calabria-Peloritani Arc (B). A] 1) Lower Messinian to Holocene sediments (a: Monte Vulture volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks); 2) San Bartolomeo Formation (Messinian); 3) Castelvetere, Oriolo, Monte Sacro, Nocara, Serra Manganile formations (upper Tortonian to lower Messinian); 4) Gorgoglione Formation (Tortonian); 5) Piaggine Formation (Serravallian to Tortonian); 6) Serra Palazzo Formation (Langhian to Tortonian); 7) Cilento Group (Langhian to Tortonian); 8) Numidian Sandstone Formation (Langhian); 9) Liguride Complex (Cretaceous to early Miocene; a: Saraceno Formation); 10) Sicilide Complex (Jurassic to early Miocene; a: Albanella, Corleto, Colle Cappella, Tufiti di Tusa formations); 11) Shallow-water to deep-water carbonate units (Triassic to middle Miocene); 12) Deep-water pelagic sediments (Triassic to early Miocene; Lagonegro, Molise, Sannio units). B] 1) Pliocene to Holocene sediments and recent volcanic deposits; 2) Upper Tortonian to Messinian sediments; 3) Stilo-Capo d Orlando Formation (early Miocene); 4) Longobucco Group (Jurassic); 5) Jurassic to Cretaceous Ophiolitiferous units, and Paleozoic metamorphic and plutonic units; 6) Maghrebian units (Mesozoic to Tertiary); 7) Paludi Formation (Late Oligocene to early Miocene); 8) Frazzanò Formation (Oligocene to early Miocene). Modified after Critelli et al. (1995b). Present-Day Morphotectonic Zones, Foreland Basin System and Environs. The Apennines and northern Calabria are associated with the Tyrrhenian backarc basin. The Apennines have a deep foredeep and they are composed mainly of thrust sheets of sedimentary cover, with the metamorphic basement slices interpreted as
14 270 s. critelli Fig. 8. Cross sections from the Adriatic Sea to the Tyrrhenian Sea, crossing the main depozones of the modern southern Apennines foreland basin system; locations of the cross sections are in a). b) Cross section from the Paola Basin to the eastern Apulia, showing the Paola slope basin (Eastern Tyrrhenian margin), the Calabrian thrust-belt (orogenic wedge), the southern Apennines foreland region (wedge-top and foredeep basins) and the flexed Apulia foreland [Modified after Cello et al. (1981), and Pescatore and Senatore (1986)]. c) Cross section from the outer thrust front of the southern Apennines orogenic wedge to the southern Adriatic Sea; locations of the modern subaerial foredeep (Bradanic trough), forebulge (Murge), and back-bulge (southern Adriatic Sea) depozones are shown [Modified after Ricchetti (1980), and Ricchetti and Mongelli (1980)]. d ) General schematic deep cross-section of the southern Apennines orogenic wedge showing formation of the Puglia bulge. During middle Pleistocene, the Bradanic trough was inverted from subsidence to uplift. Modified after Doglioni et al. (1994). «Alpine» relicts, and outcropping only in the internal western parts (fig. 8). The northern Calabria is a relict of Alpine and pre-alpine basement thrusted up the Apennine pile. From south to north the southern Italy are subdivide into the following morphotectonic belts (Ippolito et al., 1975): (1) The northern Calabrian Arc, including ophiolites, crystalline basement rocks and Mesozoic sedimentary sequences; (2) the Cilento and Calabro-Lucanian Ranges, having ophiolitic, metasedimentary and sedimentary rocks. The Ranges include a Paleogene Subduction Complex (the Calabro-Lucanian Flysch Unit or Liguride Complex of southern Italy), the middle Miocene foreland strata of the Cilento Group and younger sequences, and the Mesozoic to Miocene carbonate platform and slope (inner platform or Alburni-Cervati-Pollino Units and the Monti della Maddalena Unit); (3) the Campano-Lucanian Ranges, including Mesozoic to upper Miocene deep-sea sequences of the Lagonegro and Sicilide units, the outer platform
15 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 271 sequences (Monte Alpi units), and the Miocene foreland strata; (4) the Lucanian-Apulia lowland, including the Pliocene to Quaternary foreland clastics; and (5) the Apulian Swell, a Mesozoic to Quaternary carbonate platform (external platform). The southern Apennine ranges are a Neogene and Quaternary thrust belt located in the hanging wall of a W-directed subduction which has been detected by sismicity and tomography (e.g. Spakman, 1989; Selvaggi and Chiarabba, 1995). The subduction has a back-arc basin to the west, the Tyrrhenian basin, partly floored by oceanic crust of Pliocene and Pleistocene age (e.g. Finetti and Del Ben, 1986). The subduction plane, as such as the southern Apennines and Calabrian accretionary prism, have migrated eastward or southeastward causing the roll-back of the subduction (e.g. Malinverno and Ryan, 1986; Royden et al., 1987; Doglioni, 1991; Gueguen et al., 1997, 1998). The roll-back of the subduction hinge (rate of hinge retreat is 6 cm/y; Royden et al., 1987; Patacca et al., 1993) to the front of the southern Apennines appears to have been slowed and buckled during the Late Pleistocene by the interference of the thick continental lithosphere of the Adria Plate (Apulian swell) at the front of the belt (e.g. Doglioni et al., 1994, 1996). The Apennines and northern Calabria are characterized by a frontal active accretionary wedge, below sea-level, whereas the main elevated ridge to the west is in uplift and extension instead. The modern basin configuration of this thrust belt is represented by the wedge-top depozone (Corigliano-Amendolara basins), the marine and subaerial foredeep depozone (Gulf of Taranto and the Bradano river basin, respectively), the forebulge (the Gallipoli basin) and the back-bulge (southern Adriatic Sea) (figs. 6, 8, 9; e.g. Critelli and Le Pera, 1998). On the frontal thrust belt, Pliocene and Pleistocene marine and nonmarine depositional systems were deposited within wedge-top and foredeep basins, the most important are the Bradanic Trough and the Sant Arcangelo, Ariano, Benevento, Ofanto basins (D Argenio et al., 1973; Casnedi et al., 1982; Casnedi, 1988; Hippolyte et al., 1994a; b; Pieri et al., 1996; Amore et al., 1998). The elevated ridges of southern Apennines and northern Calabria have been uplifted and cross-cut by normal faults and transcurrent faults (e.g. Amato et al., 1991; Catalano et al., 1993; Monaco et al., 1995; Cello and Mazzoli, 1999). Several Pliocene-Pleistocene grabens cross-cut the Apennines and northern Calabria thrust pile, the most important are Vallo di Diano, Val d Agri, Potenza Basin, Mercure Basin and Crati Basin (e.g. Turco et al., 1990; Cinque et al., 1993; Colella, 1994; Tortorici et al., 1995; Schiattarella, 1998; Tavarnelli and Pasqui, 1998). On the backarc area, particularly along the western Calabria borderland, similar fault-controlled Pliocene-Pleistocene basins (Tortorici et al., 1995), as such as the Paola Basin and Gioia Basin, represent the synrift troughs of the eastern Tyrrhenian margin (e.g. Savelli and Wezel, 1980; Barone et al., 1982; Sartori, 1982, 1990). The northern Calabria and Apennines have low elevation (average m) but a thick pile of synorogenic sediment accumulation (up to 10 km from Miocene to modern). Also, some calculations (Doglioni et al., 1996; Gueguen et al., 1998) show that the thickness of sedimentary strata in the Apennines exceed km, and the
16 272 s. critelli Fig. 9. Bathymetric and structural map of the Gulf of Taranto, which is the deep-marine part of the modern foreland basin system along the south-east side of the Apennines orogenic belt. The Corigliano basin represents the wedge-top depozone of the foreland region, in which the Crati Fan has been developing during the last 6000 y. Modified after Critelli and Le Pera (1998). entire crustal thickness is about 30 km, suggesting a delamination of the lithospheric mantle during Apenninic subduction (e.g. Channel and Mareschal, 1989; Doglioni et al., 1996). The different morphotectonic zones of the southern Italy have also diverse uplift rates calculated for the last 1 My. The Calabrian ranges is peculiar for their high uplift rates that are 1 mm yr 1 (e.g. Cosentino and Gliozzi, 1988; Sorriso-Valvo, 1993; Westaway, 1993), where the maximum uplift is toward the frontal part of the accretionary prism (Ionian side) (Cosentino and Gliozzi, 1988). Plate-Tectonic Evolution. Apart the Paleozoic history of the Calabrian Terranes, the rock units of the southern Italy mountain ranges experienced intense history of rifting, drifting and subduction of oceanic and continental lithosphere occurred in the western Mediterranean region since early Mesozoic (e.g. Smith, 1971; Dewey et al., 1973, 1989; Biju-Duval et al., 1977; Cohen, 1980; Dercourt et al., 1986; Malinverno and Ryan, 1986; Bortolotti et al., 1990; Stampfli and Marchant, 1997; Gueguen et al., 1998). Rifting processes started during the early Mesozoic (fig. 10), developing shallow-water and deep-water sedimentation, evolving since middle Jurassic to oceanic basin (fig. 11; Piemont-Ligurian basin; e.g. Scandone, 1975; Dercourt et al., 1986; Vai, 1992; Stampfli and Marchant, 1997). The
17 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 273 oceanic basin was closed at the end of the Cretaceous and continental collision affect the western Mediterranean region. Only remnants of oceanic lithosphere persist until the Paleogene-Neogene boundary (e.g. Knott, 1987, 1988; Dewey et al., 1989; Critelli, 1993; Monaco and Tortorici, 1995). The key geodynamic events into the Mediterranean region can be summarized as follow: a) Alate Paleozoic rifting and oceanisation of the eastern Mediterranean basin and a late closure of the Paleotethys (late Permian to Triassic) on a Greek and Turkish transect of the Tethyan realm (e.g. Stampfli and Marchant, 1997, and bibliography therein). This late Paleozoic rifting is usually regarded as post-collisional, even if it is often associated with calcalkaline volcanism or plutonism (e.g. Winterer and Bosellini, 1981). As regard the units of the southern Italy, thermal events affected the Calabrian terranes producing emplacement of plutonics ( Ma; Carboniferous-Permian boundary; Rottura et al., 1990; Ayuso et al., 1994) and thermal metamorphism (e.g. Acquafredda et al., 1994). The Permian rifting and volcanism is well known in the southern Alps (e.g. Winterer and Bosellini, 1981). b) The Neotethys rifting started during Triassic, separing Pelagonian and Pindos domains in the eastern Mediterranean. Triassic rifting fragmented the western Mediterranean, and the geopuzzle included the Iberian, Apulia, Eurasia, Africa, Hellenic-Turkey plates and the Austroalpine-Carpathian, Pelagonian microplates (fig. 10; e.g. Stampfli and Marchant, 1997, and bibliography therein). In southern Italy, the Triassic rifting is responsible for opening of the Lagonegro basin, and their basinal and marginal (San Donato Unit, inner platform, the Alburno-Cervati-Pollino-Panormide, and the Apulia platform) sedimentation (e.g. Grandjacquet, 1963; Scandone, 1967, 1975; Ogniben, 1969; Bernoulli and Jenkins, 1974; D Argenio, 1974; Ippolito et al., 1975; Channel et al., 1979; Mostardini and Merlini, 1986; Sgrosso, 1994; Marsella et al., 1995). At the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, the Calabrian crystalline terranes are unconformably covered by continental quartzarenite redbeds, followed by Jurassic shallow-water, slope and basinal carbonate and siliciclastic sediments (cf. Zuffa et al., 1980; Santantonio and Teale, 1987). c) The Jurassic Tethys Ocean is responsible for fragmentation of the major blocks on both eastern and western Mediterranean (figs. 10, 11). The Ionian Sea (a southern extension of the Lagonegro-Sicanian basin), a possibly pre-middle Jurassic oceanic basin (Finetti, 1985), represents the connection between the eastern Mediterranean and the transform ocean north of Africa. Jurassic ophiolite sequences crop out discontinuously in northern Calabrian arc and Lucania (Lanzafame et al., 1979; Beccaluva et al., 1982), and basinal and shelfal sedimentation is widespread on the Apulia plate (future Apenninic domain). The inner carbonate platform (Alburno-Cervati-Pollino-Panormide) has thick Jurassic and Cretaceous strata, as such as the outer carbonate platform (the Apulia platform) (e.g. D Argenio, 1974). The inner platform has a series of hiatus, at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (Monti della Maddalena and San Donato Units), during Middle-Late Jurassic (Monti della Maddalena Unit), whereas the outer platform has a main hiatus at the Early-Late Cretaceous boundary (Monte Alpi Unit) and at the
18 274 s. critelli Fig. 10. Middle Liassic reconstruction of the Mesogean/Alpine regions. The sketch shows the Liassic rift, the older rift stages (late Paleozoic, and the Triassic rift), microplates dispersal, the nascent Neotethys Ocean, and active and inactive spreading ridges and arc-accretionary prisms. Lo = Lombardian basin; La = Lagonegro basin. Modified and simplified from Stampfli and Marchant (1997). Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (Apulia platform) (D Argenio, 1974). These hiatus may be related to a thermal uplift phase related to the Tethys rifting. The Lagonegro and Sicilide basins are pelagic, and include cherty limestone, shale, argillaceous chert, marl, and resedimented carbonatoclastic gravity flows. These last carbonatoclastic strata seem to have a stratigraphic position related with the main hiatus of the carbonate platforms. Siliciclastic deposits are absent in the southern Italy paleogeographic domains; d ) The changing geodynamic nature from rifting to convergent occurred at the end of the Cretaceous and during the Paleogene. During the early Cretaceous, the Piemont Ocean terminates its spreading, and an incipient subduction produces the accretion of the Apulia Plate over the eastern margin of the Piemont Ocean. On the western side of the Piemont Ocean, an oceanic spreading generate the Valais Ocean Basin ( Ma) producing the definitive separation of the Iberian Plate (the Brianconnais, Corsica and Sardinia blocks) from the European Plate (e.g. Bortolotti et al., 1990; Stampfli and Marchant, 1997, and bibliography therein). The final closure of the Piemont Ocean and the Valais Ocean occurred in a span time from Early to Late Cretaceous. The remnant ocean basin between the Apulia Plate and the Brianconnais block was filled by siliciclastic turbiditic sequences, the Helminthoid Flysch (Antola, Cassio, Caio, Solignano formations) of the northern Apeninnes. These turbidite sandstone strata have
19 the interplay of lithospheric flexure and thrust accomodation ::: 275 Fig. 11. Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary reconstruction of the Mesogean/Alpine regions. Major plate rearrangement, with isolation of the Iberia plate, and the stop of the spreading of the Alpine Tethys (Ligurian [Li]-Piemont[Pi]-Penninic[Pe] Ocean). Va = Valais Ocean. Modified and simplified from Stampfli and Marchant (1997). quartzofeldspathic and quartzolithic compositions reflecting provenances from granitic, medium-to-low grade metamorphic and carbonate source rocks (Fontana et al., 1994). The inferred provenance suggested by occurrence of certain heavy minerals (staurolite and staurolite+chloritoide) is from austroalpine belt (Orobic Alps; Bernoulli and Winkler, 1990). The Cretaceous of the Southern Italy pelagic basins is dominantly represented by clay, marl and shale, pelagic carbonate and cherty limestone, and by resedimented coarse-grained carbonatoclastic turbidites and gravity flows into the Liguride, Lagonegro and Sicilide-Molise basins. The Cretaceous of the southern Italy carbonate platforms is well developed and is very thick, about 1000 m in the Alburno-Cervati-Pollino, and 2000 m in the Apulia platform. e) From the end of the Cretaceous to early Eocene, the European plate was progressively flexed by subduction and by overriding of the prograding orogen, causing an uplift of the European forebulge above sea level and thus significant erosion of the European platform accompanied by «flysch» deposits since Maastrichtian. The Eocene to early Oligocene Mesoalpine tectonic phase corresponds with the NW thrusting of the Adria plate over the European plate, producing a NW vergent folds and thrusts in the Alps (e.g. Stampfly and Marchant, 1997). The response of the Mesoalpine
20 276 s. critelli phase is the continental collision, and foreland basin systems were developed in the Alps. During Lutetian the European forebulge abruptly subsided (Allen et al., 1991) as a consequence of flexuration in response of the thrust load of the accreted Adria plate. The Mesoalpine tectonic phase caused regional metamorphism at around 38 Ma (e.g. Steck and Hunziker, 1994), and intra-orogenic magmatism along the Periadriatic zone. The Middle Oligocene (32-30 Ma) is characterized by intense magmatic activity, part of which is directly linked to the Algero-Provencal rift (Provence and Sardinia), part along the Insubric line and part along the periadriatic domain. In the Alps and northern Apennines, the Eocene and Oligocene siliciclastic sedimentary sequences record the main events of this portion of the Mediterranean geodynamics, with provenances from (a) Iberic plate (Corsica-Sardinia-Brianconnais), (b) Adria plate (austroalpine domain), (c) European plate, (d ) syneruptive magmatic activity, and from (e) both European and Adria forebulges. Sandstone strata of Helvetic flyschs and Molasse (Schwab, 1981, 1986), and of the Ligurian and subligurian domains testify the large variabilities of petrofacies (e.g. Valloni and Zuffa, 1984). In the southern Italy domain, the Calabro-Lucanian Flysch Unit and the Sicilide Complex strata represent deposition in remnant ocean basin related to the western subduction of the Adria oceanic lithosphere beneath the Iberia plate (fig. 12; e.g. Knott, 1988; Dewey et al., 1989; Critelli, 1993; Guerrera et al., 1993; Critelli and Le Pera, 1998). The subduction has been active for all the Paleogene and lower Miocene, producing an accretionary prism, the Calabro-Lucanian Flysch Unit and the Sicilide p.p. Complex, and a diffuse calcalkaline volcanism in Sardinia. The Calabro-Lucanian Flysch Unit records the accretionary processes along the Adria margin and the consumption of the oceanic crust. The Mesoalpine (Eocene to early Oligocene) tectonic phase in southern Italy corresponds with the subduction of the Adria-Ionian oceanic lithosphere beneath the Iberia plate (fig. 12). Clastics within the Calabro-Lucanian Flysch Unit (Critelli, 1993; Monaco and Tortorici, 1995) records the onset of the volcanic-arc activity of Sardinia, the assembled and deformation of the oceanic lithosphere within the subduction complex, and the progressive accretion of the Calabrian crustal terranes of the Iberia plate over the Adria and Africa margins (Dewey et al., 1989; Ben Avraham et al., 1990; Gueguen et al., 1998; Cello and Mazzoli, 1999). At the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, the mesoalpine phase along the Adria plate, is responsible for the initial flexure, a general erosional processes of both the inner platform (Alburni-Cervati-Pollino-Bulgheria; Boni, 1974; D Argenio, 1974) and outer platform (Monte Alpi-Apulia). f ) During early (fig. 12) to middle (fig. 13) Miocene the Apenninic domain is the place where immense volume of turbiditic sedimentation is in response of E-NE accretionary processes along the Adria plate (e.g. Ricci Lucchi, 1986; Patacca and Scandone, 1987; Boccaletti et al., 1990). In the southern transect of the Apenninic domain, there are direct relations between crustal block source areas (the Calabrian Arc) and depositional sequences (foreland turbiditic clastic wedges). Here, the foreland basin system is developed over deformed Liguride Complex, during the early-middle Miocene, over Sicilide, Lagonegro and inner platform units during the upper Miocene
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