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Plate tectonic of the Apulia-Adria microcontinents.

Authors:

Abstract

New data for the East Mediterranean domain allow us to assign this oceanic basin to the larger Neotethyan oceanic system which opened in Permian times. This interpretation is supported by a large array of geological and geophysical data, including tne ônOe aeep seismic data' The same data set shows ttrat a cieater Apulia plate existed in Mesozoic times' including the autochthonous Greece and SW Turkey plate. This plate also included a united Adria and Apulia microplate from Early Jurusrlc times. This key information indicates the need to create a new post-Variscan continental fit for the western Tethyan area, where the relationships between the Adrian, Apulian and Iberic plates can be defined with greater confidence.
cRoP PROJECT:
Deep Seismic
Exploration of the Central Mediterranean
and Italy
Edited by I.R. Fineui
@ 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserve<i 147
CHAPTER
33
Plate Tectonics
of the Apulia-Adria Microcontinents
Gérard
M. Stampflil
ABSTRACT
New data for the East Mediterranean
domain allow us to assign
this oceanic
basin to the
larger Neotethyan
oceanic system
which opened
in Permian times. This interpretation is
supported
by a large array of geological and geophysical
data, including tne ônOe aeep
seismic
data'
The same
data
set shows
ttrat
a cieater Apulia plate existed
in Mesozoic
times'
including
the
autochthonous
Greece
and
SW Turkey
plate.
This plate
also
included
a united Adria and Apulia microplate from Early Jurusrlc times. This key information
indicates the need to create a new post-Variscan
continental fit for the western Tethyan
area,
where
the
relationships
between
the
Adrian,
Apulian and
Iberic
plates
can
be
defined
with greater
confidence.
Keywords: Apulia-Adria, plate
tectonic
contexr
1. INTRODUCTION
In the light of the
large
amount
of new data provided
by the cRoP Atlas,
we are reviewing
here
the geodynamic
evolution
in space
and
time of the
Adria and
Apulia micro-continents.
This evolution
has
so far been
described
in
many
ways'
rich with controversies'
A wealth
of data
has
also
been
accumulated
through
nearly
two centuries
of
generally
excellent
ûeld work by Italian
geologists,
but recent
approaches
have
shown
ihut *or" could
be added,
particularly
in the
f,eld
ofplate tectonics,
supported
by new geophysicar
datasets.
Detailed
plate
tectonic
schemes
and geophysical
datasets
are presented
in the present
volume, but we focus here on the larger fiamework of plate
tectonics
in the Mediteffanean
area,
particularly on some
major issues
regarding
its Late palaeozoic
and
Mesozoic
evolution.
one of the main issues
is the age
of the East
Mediterranean-Ionian
Sea
basin,
and
the nature
of the seafloor
in
this area'
This,
in tum, influences
the
way that
continental
re-assembly
for the
Mesozoic
can
be
done.
These
major
problems were approached
by the editor and the author from different points of view, but an agreement
rapidly
emerged
about
the Permo-Triassic
age
of the E-Mediterranean-Ionian seafloor,
while disagreement
occurred
over
the proposal
of separate
Adria and
Apulia micro-continents
in Jurassic
and
Cretaceous
timËs.
A new
continental
fit was
built up in an
attempt
at
reconciling
plate
tectonics
with geophysical
data
(Finetti
et al.,
2001)
and
is presented
here:
it differs
signif,cantly
from p."ulàu, proposed
models (e.g.
Stampfli
and
Borel, 2002b;
Stampfli
et al.,
2001b),
particularry
regarding
the
position
of Adria und
tn"riu.
Before
presenting
the
reconstructions
and geodynamic
scheme,
we first review
the problem
of the
age
of opening
of the East
Mediterranean
basin
and
its link with the Neotethys
oceanic
realm.
Then,
we discuss
the
necessity
of
having
a close
to the
present
position
of Adria and
Apulia ahlady from Late Triassic
times.
These
two items
can
then
be used
to support
our present
new plate
tectonic
scenario.
2. THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN NEOTETHYS CONNECTION
This problem
has
already
been
reviewed
in some
detail
in previous
publications
(Stampfli,
2000;
Stampfli
et al.,
2001b);
depending
on the
authors.
the East
Mediterranean-ionian
Sea
basin
is regarded
as
opening
already
in the
\*lt"t or c"ology and
Palaeontology.
universirv
of Lausanne.
BFSH2,
cH 1015,
Lausanne,
switzerland
E-mail: gerard.stampfl
i @unil.ch
l4l
Stampfli
Late Paleozoic
(Vai, 1994) or as late as the Cretaceous
(e.g.
Dercourt
et a1.,1993,1985). Most people
would regard
this ocean
as opening in Late Triassic or Early Jurassic
(e.g. Garfunkel and Derin, 1984; Robertson et a1., 1996:
Sengôr
et al., 1984) and therefore
possibly related to the Alpine Tethys-Central Atlantic opening (Stampfli et al..
|
998).
A new interpretation showing that the East Mediterranean domain has corresponded to an oceanic basin since
the Late Paleozoic was proposed by Stampfli (1989; IGCP 2J6 corference). Subsequently,
new plate tectonic
reconstructions considering this basin as
part of the Neotethyan
oceanic system have been developed
(Stampfli et
al.,199I,2001b; Stampfli and Pillevuit, 1993), supported by a
large array of geological
and
geophysical
data. such
AS:
- the geophysical
characteristics of the Ionian Sea and East Mediterranean basin (isostatic equilibrium, seismic
velocities, elastic thickness) excluding an age ofthe sea-floor
younger than Early Jurassic.
- synrift sequences of the Neotethys northern margin have been found in the Talea Ori, in Crete.
There the Earll
Permian sequence
(Kônig and Kuss, 1980) presents
a typical synrift evolution: rapid subsidence, important
clastic input, rapid flooding with pelagic facies, followed by the progradation
of a Middle to Upper Permian
platform (Kock, 2003).
- subsidence
patterns
in areas such as the Sinai margin, the Tunisian Jeffara rift, Sicily and
Apulia s.str.
(Stampfli.
2000; Stampfli et al., 2001b) confirming a Late Permian onset of thermal subsidence for the East Mediterranean
and
Ionian Sea
basins and the absence of any younger thermal events.
- Late Permian Hallstatt-type pelagic limestones, similar to those found in Oman where they sometimes reg
directly on MORB (Niko et al.,1996', Pillevuit, 1993), reported
from the Sosio complex in Sicily (Kozur, 1995)-
This Late Permian
Sicanian
pelagic
macrofauna, and microfauna
(Kozur, 1990, 1991b, l99lc) presents
affinities
with both Oman and Timor, and implies a Middle Permian direct deepwater connection between the westernmost
East-Mediterranean
Basin and the Neotethys.
- Triassic MORB found in Cyprus in the Mamonia complex (Malpas et al., 1993), and derived from the Eas
Mediterranean seafloor
- Recent seismostratigraphy of the Ionian Sea (Finetti and Del Ben, this volume, Chapter 19; Stampfli et al.-
2001b) have confirmed a Permo-Triassic
age of the Ionian seafloor, as well as
its oceanic nature.
In conclusion, we propose
a Middle to Late Permian onset of seafloor
spreading in the
Eastern Mediterranean basin.
This opening would be concomitant with the opening of the Neotethys
eastward and the northward drifting of the
Cimmerian continents since
late Early Permian. This model implies also a late closure of the Paleotethys
(Middle
to Late Triassic) on a Mediterranean transect of the Tethyan realm, accompanied
by the opening of back-arc basins
on the active Eurasian margin (Meliata, Maliac and
Pindos back-arc basins)
(Stampfli, 1996; Stampfli et al., 2003:
Ziegler and Stampfli, 2001).
The original position of Apulia with respect to Africa can be quite well determined by closing the Ionian sea with a
40o rotation of Apulia around a point located north of Tunisia (Finetti and Del Ben, this volume, Chapter 19). This
represents the total rotation of Apulia from Late Carboniferous
to Middle/Late Triassic, but a more complicated
scheme should be envisaged when considering that Apulia belonged for a while to the drifting Cimmerian conti-
nent, whose
rotation point changed in time. Therefore a slightly different placing and rotation of Apulia is shown
in the following reconstructions.
3. THE APULIA ADRIA PROBLEM
Paleomagnetic data show that the Apulian plate s.l. (Italy) has suffered relatively little rotation with respect
to
Africa since the Triassic
(e.g.
Channell,1992,1996). Also, the continuity between
the active subduction zone under
Greeçe
and the outer Dinarides (de Jonge et al., 1994; Wortel and Spakman,
1992) shows that there is a possible
plate limit between
Apulia s.l. and the autochthon of Greece.
However, we regard this feature as recent and having
no bearing on the fact that a Greater Apulia plate existed
in Mesozoic times, in which all the Greek autochthon
is
included, as well as
the Bey-Daglari massif of SW Turkey. The apparent
present plate limit comes
from the fact that
the Hellenic orogenic/accretionary wedge
is oblique with regard to former paleogeographic
domains, still colliding
with Apulia on an Albanides transect and already subducting
the East-Mediterranean seafloor on a Greek transect.
An initial reassembling
of the western
Tethyan micro-plates in a pre-break-up
position led us to consider that the
Apulian plate s.l. is most likely cut into two pieces,
an Apulian plate s.str. to the south and an Adriatic plate s.str.
to
Plate Tectonics of the
Apulia-Adria microcontinents 149
the north
(Stampfli
et al.,
2001a;
Stampfli
and Mosar, 1999).
The
CROP
seismic
lines through the Adriatic domain
(Finetti and Del Ben, this volume, Chapter 23) clearTy show that there has been no major tectonic event cutting
Italy into two units, at least since the Jurassic, and
that the previous
model had to be reassessed.
Our basic hypothesis is still that the Apulian part of Italy is definitely an African promontory from the Middle Tri-
assic to Recent times without much displacement with regard to Africa. It represents the easternmost Cimmerian el-
ement detached from Gondwana
in Middle Permian times during the opening of the East Mediterranean-Neotethys
basin. We also consider that the Adriatic and Apulian micro-plates were welded in an
Eocimmerian collision phase
during the Late Permian-Early/Middle Triassic, and both units then became
part of the African plate, giving bit'th
to the present
Italian conliguration, called indifferently Apulia s.l. or Adria s.l.
The need for cutting Italy into two micro-plates came from the fact that in a Triassic Pangean fit, as used in our
former model (Stampfli and Borel, 2002a; Stampfli and Mosar, 1999), there was very little room to insert the
present
form of Italy in its proper place, knowing that the Apulian promontory had reached
its present
location
already
in the Middle Triassic.
Thus, we had to reconsider
the fit of Iberia with Europe, as well as the size and
position of the Alboran micro-plates.
We made a much tighter fit of these elements
with Europe, following similar
older proposals
(Srivastava
et al., 1990; Srivastava
and Tapscott,
1986). Still, there was
not enough room to put
the entire
present length of Adria s.l. in its proper position.
The conclusion was that Adria s.l. was shofier
in
Triassic times that it finally is now (or already in the Late Jurassic).
'We
came
to the conclusion
that a few hundred
kilometres had been
gained
through major phases of rifting affecting Greater
Apulia since
the Triassic and related
to the break-up of Pangea and opening of the Alpine Tethys. We had already shown through subsidence
pattems
that the Lombardian rift was an aborted branch of the Central Atlantic rifting extension
towards the Alpine region
(Stampfli, 2000). The CROP seismic data testify to pervasive
Early to Middle Jurassic
rifting affecting many areas
around Italy, and extending up to Greece eastward
and Pelagian
domain southward,
where it is accompanied
by
important volcanism
(Finetti, 1985). The reason for this widespread Jurassic
rifting is that for the Pangean
break-up
to succeed,
the Atlantic rift system
had to join an active
plate limit located in the Neotethyan
domain. All possible
ways to break through the Alpine-Mediterranean lithosphere were tried and many resulted in aborted
rifts. This
pervasive
Jurassic
rifting finally gave
birth, in the Alps, to very large passive margins, flanked by rim basins
(e.g.
the
Subbriançonnais,
Helvetic-Dauphinois domains,
Lombardian basin,
Subbetic basin),
and a narrow
oceanic strip
dominated
by mantle denudation
(Stampfli and Marchant, 1991). This can
be regarded as
forced rifting through an
already thinned lithosphere, and effectively all this rifting took place under water, with little isostatic rebound of
rift shoulders.
The fact that the Alpine Tethys ocean floor is dominated
by denuded
continental mantle of mainly Permian age
(Rampone
and Piccardo, 2000) proves
that the ocean was very narroq and a large amount of extension
was dis-
tributed elsewhere
in Greater
Apulia. Thus, the present
length and geometry
of the Adriatic plate would have been
achieved by Middle to Late Jurassic
times. However, deformation
of this plate interior during Alpine times is most
likely, but only on a small scale, despite
the fact that most of its border was involved in subduction and/or crustal
shortening.
4. THE GEODYNAMIC EVOLUTION OF GREATER APULIA AND SURROUNDING REGIONS
The reconstructions shown in Figures I to 8 are based on a tight pre-Pangea
break-up, Permian fit as well as
magnetic anomalies
from the Central Atlantic. Plate tectonic concepts
have been systematically applied to our
palinspatic models of the western Tethys, moving away from pure continental
drift models,
not constrained by plate
limits, to produce a model which linally is progressively more self-constrained.
Most other constraints and data
bases used
for the reconstructions
can be found in our
previous publications
(Stampfli
and
Borel, 2000; Stampfli
et
a1.,2001a; Stampfli
and Borel,
2002b;
Stampfli
et a1.,2001b).
We shall review here some of the major steps of this peri-Apulia geodynamic evolution, starting with the Pale-
otethys ocean;
then we shall move to the Eocimmerian
event, and finally to the Alpine cycle proper.
(a) Paleotethys
Evolution. The opening of Paleotethys is related to the drifting from Gondwana
of ribbon-
type
micro-continents,
grouped
under the label of the Hun superterrane
(von
Raumer
et a1.,2002).
Amon-ust these
terranes we find the Adria s.str.
part of ltaly, which together with other European Hunic terranes
was accreted
to Laurussia
in Devonian times (Stampfli et a1., 2002b). Following this accretion,
Paleotethys
started subducting
northward, creating the Variscan
cordillera system.
The Paleotethys was a circum-Gondwana
ocean
whose history
150 Stampfli
Figure 1: Western Tethys reconstructions for the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian, modified from
Stampfli and Borel (2002a,2002b). 1 - passive margin; 2 - magnetic anomalies or synthetic anomalies:
3-seamount;4-intraoceanicsubduction/arccomplex;5-spreadingridges;6-subductionzone;7-rifts:
8 - sutures; 9 - active thrusts; 10 - foreland basins. Abbreviations of key localities: AA, Austro-Alpine:
Ab, Alboran; ad, Adria s.str.; ag, Aladag; Aj, ajat; al, Alborz; an, Antalya; Ap, Apulia s.str.; Ap. .{s-
promonte, Peloritani; Ar, Arna accretionary complexl As, Apuseni-south, ophiolites; At, Attika; Au. As-
terousial Av, Arvi; Ba, Balkanides, externall Bc, Biscay Gascognel Bd, Beydaghlaril Be, Betic; BH, Baer
Basit-Hatay ophiolites; Bh, Bihar; Bk, Bolkardagl Bn, Berninal Br, Briançonnaisl Bs, Bisitoun seamount:
BS' Bator-Szarvasko ophiolites; Bu, Bucovinian; Bii, Bûkk; Bv, Budva; By, Beyshehir;Bz, Beykoz basin:
Ca' Calabria autochthon; cB, central Bosnia; cD, central Dinarides ophiolites; Ce, Cetic; Ci, Ciotat fl1.sch:
Plate Tectonics
of the
Apulia-Adria microcontinents 151
is quite well constrained
on an Iranian transect
(Alborz range, Norlh Iran; Stampfli, l9i8; Stampfli et al., l9g1
,
2001b) which represents
the southern
Gondwanan
margin of the eastern
branch of the ocean.
Toward the west, along the African domain, there are fewer constraints
conceming the opening of the western
branch of Paleotethys
and the detachment
of the European
Hunic Terranes
from Gondwana.
In the High Atlas of
Morocco (Destombes,
197
l), rhe Silurian is unconformable on the Ordovician and presents
locally, at its top, a
conglomeratic
sequence;
the overlying Emsian-Eifelian sequence
is locally u"ry "onà"nred and is represented
by
open marine carbonates.
This starvation
event
represents
the onset
of important thermal subsidence,
which can be
related
to the drifting of either Armorica or the Meseta
fragments
from Africa.
The northern
margin of the Paleotethys
ocean is well represented
in the middle part of the European
Hunic terranes
in the Carnic Alps (Schônlaub
and
Histon, 1999),
inTuscany and
Sardinia
and
the Alboran fragments (cf. Stampfli,
1996). It is also characteized by a Late Ordovician-Early Silurian clastic and often volcanic synrift sequence
(Silurian flood basalts
are also known in Sardinia and the Rif (Piqué, 1989)). Rift-related rhermal uplift, erosion
and tilting took place in Silurian times and is often wrongly related
to the Taconic event.
Open marine conditions
started
in the Silurian, being represented
by a graptolite facies; a more general flooding tàok place in the Early
Devonian and marked the onset
of widespread
thermal subsidence
related
to sea-floor
spreadin!. on the northern
margin,
the Visean
usually marks
the onset
of widespread
flysch deposition,
often accompanied
by volcanic activity,
corresponding
to the change
from a passive
to an active margin.
Potential Paleotethyan
accretionary
sequences
are located in the southern pat't of the Variscan
orogen, and in all
cases
metamorphosed
and intruded by subsequent
Late Carboniferous
granites (Vavassis
et al., 2000) and usually
involved in Eocimmerian and Alpine deformation. They are mainly found in the Chios-Karaburun
region and in
Crete
(Stampfli et al., 2003),
but certainly extend
throughout
most areas
of Turkey comprised
between
the pontides
and Tâurides
domains
(e.g.
Kozur
et al., 1998),
and
should
also
be
present
under
Apulia, to reappear
westwards
in
southern
Spain
(Stampfli et al., 2002b).
The youngest
fore-arc-type
sequences
related
to the northwards
subduction
of Paleotethys
are found in Crete, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, and usually extend up to the Carnian (Stampfli
CL, Campania-Lucania; Co, Codrul Cn, Carnic-Julian; Cp, Calabria-peloritani; cR, circum_Rhodope; Cv,
Canavesel Da, Dacides; Db, Dent Blanche; DD, Dniepr-Donetz rift; Dg, Denizgôren ophiolite (Ip suture);
Di' Dizi accretionary complexl Do, Dobrogeal Dr, Drina-Ivanjica; Ds, Drimos, Samotùace ophiolites; Du,
Durmitor; eA, east Albanian ophiolites; El, Elazig, Guleman ophiolites-arc; eP, east pontides; Er. Eratos-
then seamount;
Fa, Fatric; Fc, Flamish cap; GB, Grand Banks; gC, great Caucasusl
Gd, Geydag-Anamas-
Akseki; Ge, Gemeric; GT, Gavrovo-T[ipolitza; Gt, Getic; Gû, Gûmûshane-Kelkit; hA, high-Atlas; Ha,
Hadim; He, Helvetic rim basin; Hg, Huglu-Boyalitepe; hK, high karstl Hr, Hronicuml Hy, Hydra; Ib, Iberia,
NW allochthonl Ig, Igal trough; Io, Ionianl Is, Istanbull Ja, Jadar; Jt Jeffara rift; Jv, Juvavic; Ka, Kalnic;
Kb, Karaburunl Ke, Kotel flysch.; Kg, Karabogaz Gol; Ki, Kirshehir; Kk, Karakaya forearc; Ko, Korab;
KS' Kotel-Stranja rift; Ku, Kura; Kû, Kûre ocean; Ky Kabyliesl La, Lagonegro; lA, lower Austroalpine;
Lb, Longobuccol Le, Lesbos
ophiolites; Li, Ligurianl Lo, Lombardian; Ls, Lusitanianl Lu, Lut; Ly, Ly-
cian ophiolitic complex; mA, middle Atlas; Ma, Mani; Mb, Magnitogorsk back-arc; Mc, Maliac rifuoceanl
MD' Moldanubian; Me, Meliata rift/ocean; Mf, Misfah seamountl Mg, Megumal Mh, Mugodzhar ocean;
Mi' Mirdita autochthon; Mk, Mangyshlak rift; Ml, Meglenitsa ophiolitel Mm, Mamonia accretionary com-
plexl Mn, Menderes; Mo, Moesial MP, Mersin, Pozanti ophiolites; Mr, Mrzlevodice fore-arc: Ms. Meseta
Morocco; MS, Margna-Selta; Mt, Monte Amiata fore-arcl Mz, Munzur dag-Keban; nC, north Caspian;
Ni' Niliifer seamount; Ns, Niesen flysch; nT, north Tibet; Nt, Nish-T[oyan trough; OM, Ossa-Morenal Ot,
Othrys-Evia-Argolis ophiolites; Oz, Otztal-silvretta; Pa, Panormides; Pd, Pindos rift/oceanl pe, penninic;
Pi, Piemontais; Pk, Paikon intra oceanic arcl Pl, Pelagonian; Pm, Palmyra rift; Pn, pienniny rift; pp, pa-
phlagonian ocean; Px, Paxi; Py, Pyrenean rift; Rf, Rif, external; Rh, Rhodope; Ri, Rif, internal; Sa, Salum;
sA, south Alpine; sB, sub-Betic
rim basin; Sc, Scythian platform; sC, south Caspian
basin; Sd, Srednogorie
rift'arc; Se,
Sesia;
Si, Sicanian; Sj, Strandja; Sk, Sakaryal sK, south-Karawanken fore-arcl Sl, Slar-onia;
Sm' Silicicum; SM, Serbo-Macedonianl
Sn, Sevan
ophiolites; sP,
south Portuguese;
Sr, Severin
ophiolites;
SS' Sanandaj-Sirjan; St, Sitia; Su, Sumeinil Sv, Svanetia;
Tb, Thbas;
TB, Tirolic-Bavaric; tC, Transcauca-
sus;
TD, Trans-Danubian; Th, Thrace basin; Tk, Tharkyr; To, Talea
Ori; Tp, Troodos
ophiolite; Tt, Tatric;
Ttr, Tirscanl Tn Tavas * Tavas seamount; T} Tyros fore arc; TzrTizia; uJ, upper Juvavic; UM, Umbria-
Marchesl Uy' Ust-Yurt; Va, Valais
trough; Ve, Veporic; Vo, Vourinos (Pindos)-Mirdita ophiolitesl wC, west-
crete (Phyl-Qrtz) accr. comprexl zr, zlatibar ophiolites ; zo, zonguldak.
152 Stampfli
et a1.,
2003). Then, they are involved in the Eocimmerian tectonic event corresponding
to the final closure of
Paleotethys
in the western
Tethyan
region.
(b) Eocimmerian Event and the Marginal Oceans. An apparent lack of major tectonic events
during the per-
mian and Triassic
in SW Europe,
or in the Appalachian
domain,
documents
the welding of Gondwana
with Laurasia
to form the Permian Pangea.
We already
discussed
this diachronous
closure
of the large
Paleotethys
ocean,
insisting
on the likely development
of back-arc
oceans
or basins
within the Permo-Triassic
Eurasian
margin (Stampfli, 1996;
Ziegler and Stampfli, 2001). From the pateo-Apulian promontory eastward,
it is quite clear that an Eocimmerian
domain of deformation is found just south of a relatively undeformed Variscan,
domain which is represented
by
a Late Carboniferous
to Early Permian arc and clastic sedimentation
of Verrucano
type, mainly affected by ex-
tension. In contrast, the Cimmerian deformations are accompanied
by Triassic flysch, mélanges
and volcanics
(Stampfli et al., 2003) and even intrusive events
(Reischmann,
1998) of collisional type, marking the closing of
either Paleotethys
and/or
the European
marginal oceans.
As shown by the plate tectonic reconstructions (Figures I and 2), the Middle Permian
margin of SE Europe is of
transform type, and little subduction took place along that margin at that time due to the welding of Gondwana
to Laurasia.
However,
the slab roll-back of Paleotethys
rapidly induced "back-arc" rifting along the whole margin
from Late Permian times. East of the paleo-Apulian promontory, this back-arc rifting graded into the seafloor
spreading
of a series of marginal oceans. Due to accelerated
roll-back of the Paleotethys,
ridge jumps took place
from the Hallstatt-Meliata rift to the Maliac rift in the Early Ladinian, and again from the Maliac to the Pindos
rift
in the Early Carnian. Therefore
the Late Carboniferous
Pelagonia
arc terrane got stranded between
the Maliac and
Pindos oceans
and never
collided with Greater Apulia, the limit between
the two plates
being more of a transform
type. South of the Pindos, the small ribbon Sitia Variscan
terrane and its Triassic fore-arc collided with Greater
Apulia along a Greek transect
during the Late Carnian.
Along the Cimmerian orogen,
development
of carbonate platform resumed
in the Norian or Liassic, marking the
end of this orogenic cycle. This Middle-Late Triassic tectonic pulse is well established
in the Dolomites where it
is also accompanied
by the emplacement
of diapirs (Castellarin
et al., 1996)
and
preceded
by important volcanism,
first in the Permian, then in the Middle Triassic (Pietra Verde event), showing that northern Italy was deeply
involved in the geodynamic
processes
described
here (Beccaluva
et al., this volume, Chapter 28),
(c) Other Areas. Besides
these
Hellenic Paleotethyan
remnants,
continental
to marine Upper Carboniferous
to
Lower Permian
sequences
are found around
the arc of the Eurasian
active
margin (Figures
2 and 3):
- in the Tuscan
Apennines
(e.g.
Gattiglio et al., 1989,
and references
therein, and Engelbrecht,
1997; Engelbrecht
er al., 1989);
- in the deep-water
Kungurian to Roadian flysch (Kozur and Mostler, 1992; Korur, 1999)
of the clastic Trogkofel
beds
(Ramovs, 1968) found just south of the Periadriatic
line (Mr:Mrzlevodice fore-arc).
- the latter extend to similar Permo-Carboniferous
deep marine clastic sequences of the Carnic and Karawanken
Alps eastward,
and the deep water Permian of Sicily westward, with the Tuscan Monte Amiata Permian in
between.
- Early to Late Permian pelagic sediments
are also presented
in the Sicannian
basin in Sicily (Catalano
et
1995, 1988)
whose
fauna presents
clear Paleotethyan
affinities
(Kozur,
1990).
Most of these listed outcrops
belong to late Variscan fore-arc-type
basins
usually located
just south of a cordillera
charccterized
by Late Carboniferous to Early Permian calc-alkaline plutonism (Stampfli, 1996; Vavassis
et al.,
2000). The fore-arc basins
were slightly deformed or uplifted.during Permian times and covered
unconformably
by Vemrcano
s.l. sequences,
deposited
in rift basins.
In Tuscany
(Aldinucci
et al., 2001),
a clear
distinction
can be
made between
rift-related upper Permian-lower Triassic deposits
with marine incursions
covering unconformably
the Carboniferous fore-arc sequences,
and
younger
Verrucano
s.str.
clastics of Middle to Late Triassic
age
(Cirilli et
a1.,2002).
The oldest deposits
correspond
to the rifting phase
responsible for the opening
eastward
of the Meliata-
Maliac back-arc system.
The continental Verrucano
s.str.
deposits
of Late Triassic age are related to the Eocim-
merian event.
(d) The Alpine Tethys,
the Central Atlantic and the Vardar. Field work in the Canary Islands and Morocco
(Favre and Stampfli, 1992) allowed dating the onset of sea-floor spreading
to Toarcian
in the northern part of the
central
Atlantic. Similar subsidence patterns
between
this region and the Lombardian basin (Stampfli, 2000) led us
Plate Tectonics
of the Apulia-Adria microcontinents tJ5
Figure 2: Western Tethys
reconstructions
for the Middle and latest Permian, modified from Stampfli and
Borel
(2002a.2002b).
For legend
see
Figure l.
to propose
a direct connection
between
these tso areas
(Fisures
J and
5 t.
The Lontbardian basin
aborled
(Bertotti
et al., 1993) as it could
not link up uith the \letiata-\laliac-Pindos
oceanic
dontains
uhose
already
cold oceanic
lithosphere was rheologically
unbreakable compared
to surrounding
continental areas. Therefore
the Alpine Tethys
rift opened north
of the Meliata
northern margin
separating
Adria and the Austro-Carpathian
domain from Europe.
Thermal
subsidence of the Alpine area
started in Aalenian
times in the n'est
{Briançonnais
margin:
Stampfli and
Marchant,
1997;
Stampfli et al., 1998)
and Bajocian
times eastnard
(Helretic
and Austroalpine
margin: Bill et
754 Stampfli
Figure 3: Western Tethys reconstructions for the Early and Middle Thiassic,
modified from Stampfli and
Borel (2002a,2002b). For legend see Figure 1.
al'' 1997:
Froitzheim
and
Manatschal,
1996).
As discussed
above,
the
Atpine Tethys
spreading
was
considerablr
delayed,
and spreading
never gave birth to a real oceanic
crust, the oceanic area
being dominated by mantle de-
nudation. The Briançonnais margin was cer-tainly part of a transform segment
of this ocean,
reactivated
in Late
Jurassic times during the opening of the Pyrenean
rift. A larger transform Maghrebide ocean linked up the central
Atlantic and the Alpine Tethys,
and is also charactenzed,by
local delay in thermal subsidence
(Stampfli, 2000t.
Plate Tectonics
of the
Apulia-Adria microcontinents 155
Figure 4: Western Tethl's reconstructions for the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic, modified from Stampfli
and Borel (2002a,2002b). For legend see Figure 1.
The rotation
of Africa with re-eard
to Europe
since the
Late
Triassic,
and
the southward
subduction
of the
Ktre back-
arc, induced
the eastward
subduction
of the Meliata-Maliac ocean under
the young
Neotethys
oceanic
crust and
related
margin'
This subduction
-eave
birth to the Vardar
ocean,
which totally replaced
the Meliata-Maliac
ocean
by the
end of the Jurassic.
The Vardar
ocean
obducted
southward
onto
the Pelagonian
mar-ein in the
Late
Jurassic
(Figures
5 and
6), then
subducted
northward
under
Moesia, producing
the large
Late Cretaceous
Srednogorie
arc
of Bulgaria
and the
opening
of the Black Sea, representing
the
third generation
of back-arcs
in that
resion.
156 Srampfli
Figure 5: Western Tethys reconstructions for the Middle and Late Jurassic, modified from Stampfli and
Borel (2002a,2002b). For legend see Figure 1.
(e) Intra Apulia Jurassic Rifting. The word Ionian is used for two quite different geological entities, and q e
have already
spoken
about the Neotethyan
origin of the Ionian sea floor, the western
portion of the East Mediter-
ranean
basin. There is also a Ionian tectonic unit, defined in Greece
(Aubouin et al., 1970),
which is par-t
of thc'
Apulian para-autochthonous
sequence
of Greece
and Albania.
It consists
of a thick carbonate
platform starting in
Norian times,
and
sealing
the Paleotethys
suture
zone.
Gypsum is sometimes
found
at its base
(Papanikolaou
et al..
1
988). Then
a shallow
carbonate
platform
was locally
replaced
by a more pelagic
sequence
during
the Jurassic.
pa-
Plate Tectonics
of the
Apulia Adria microcontinents 751
Figure 6: Western Tethys reconstructions for the Early Cretaceous, modified from Stampfli and Borel
(2002a,2002b). For legend see Figure l.
leofaults
have
been
observed
in manl places
of the Ionian
zone
of Greece and
Albania
(Baudin
an<i
Lachkar.
1990:
Dodona
et al., 1994;
Karakitsios.
199 I : Karakitsios
and Dermitzakis,
1997)
and
extend into the more
aurochtho-
nous sequences
found along the Adriatic coast and in the Adriatic sea, as seen on the seismic
(Finetti and
Del Ben, this volume,
Chapter
23). and directly on land in Italy. Obviously,
during the main phase
of pangea
break-up,
older structures
such as the Paleotethys
suture
zone were reactivated,
creating
localized
rift zones
within the pre-existing
large
carbonate
platform
of Greater
Apulia. These
rifts aborted
and
gave
place
to deeper-
j
158 Stampfli
water basins surrounded by carbonate platform locally active until the Miocene (e.g. Bernoulli et al., 1996;
Vecsei et al., 1998). This platform and basin morphology was progressively
covered by flysch deposits
and two
flexural basins developed
around the Apulian carbonate promontory in Tertiary times, the Apenninic foreland to
the west and the Dinaric-Hellenic foreland to the east
(Camrba et al., this volume, Chapter 25).
Jurassic
rifting also
affected other areas of Italy. The major rift zone was located
in the Lombard basin,
as discussed
above, but rifting accompanied
by volcanism is also found in the Pelagian
domain, south of Sicily. There too, it
was emplaced
within a former large Triassic carbonate
platform which developed
around the rift shoulder
area of
the Permo-Triassic
Ionian ocean
(Finetti and
Del Ben, this volume, Chapter 19).
ff) The
North Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenean Domain and Cretaceous Tectonic. After the Early Cretaceous
(Figure 6), there were few possibilities for the Atlantic mid-oceanic
ridge to link up eastward
with another ocean,
due to the subduction
of the Neotethys
mid-oceanic ridge under Iran, and
the shortening
affecting
the Vardar region.
A last attempt was made through the opening of the Pyrenean
and Biscay oceans,
with a rifting phase
starting in
the Oxfordian, and the onset of spreading
in the Aptian for the Portuguese-Galician
ocean and Pyrenean
area,
and later in the Albian for Biscay (Stampfli et a1.,2002a).
By the end of the Santonian
the break-up between
North-America and Greenland took place, then in Campanian times the Biscay ocean aborted. Closing of the
Pyrenean
domain had already taken
place during the opening of the Gulf of Biscay due to the accelerated
rotation
ofthe Iberic plate together
with Africa. Therefore, it is not sure ifthe Pyrenean
ocean progressed
any further than
mantle denudation,
as expressed
by the outcrop of the Lherzolites of Lherz (Fabries
et al., 1998). This rotation
also placed the Briançonnais peninsula in front of the Helvetic margin, creating a duplication of the European
margin in the western Alps domain. The space in between
the two marginal segments was called the Valais ocean
or domain, and actually is a part of the Piemont ocean, trapped
by the eastward
displacement
of the Briançonnais.
The Valais domain extends
eastward into the north Penninic domain, and both areas have
been affected
by HP/LT
metamorphism
(Bousquet
et al., 1998;
Goffé and Oberhânsli, 1992).The closing of this Valais domain had already
taken place in Late Cretaceous
times with the deposition of the Niesen flysch in Maastrichtian times, then the
Meilleret flysch in Middle Eocene times. These Pyrenean tectonic inversion phases
can be followed from the
western Alps to the Pyrenees
through Provence
(Stampfli et al., 1998).
Iberia was rotating with Africa and Apulia-Adria, without any NS shortening, at least from the M0 magnetic
anom-
aly (Aptian) up to the Maastrichtian.
However,
the southern margin of the Piemont ocean
(the
Austroalpine domain
of the western Alps) was affected by tectonic movements
from the Coniacian-Santonian,
marked by the onset of
flysch deposits
(Gets
and Dranse flysch, Caron et al., 1989). It is clear from the reconstruction
(Figures
6 and 7) that
large scale strike-slip movements
affected the boundary between Adria and the Alpine domain, due the large-scale
EW shortening
taking place in the Vardarian
area between
Albian and Campanian times. These
very large-scale
lateral movements
are well known (Trûmpy, 1988, 1992) and finally placed Adria-Tizia behind the Austroalpine
accretionary
prism. During this process,
the Piemont oceanic
lithosphere
got progressively
disconnected
from the
northern margin of Adria and slowly started
to subduct, resulting in a westward escape of the Austroalpine prism,
which most likely collided locally with the northern
margin already in Cretaceous times, to the north in the Tauern
window and to the west with Calabria (Austroalpine Longobucco unit). Pieces of Adria margin were dragged into
the subduction zone to give the Early Paleocene
HP[:Î metamorphism
recorded in the Sesia domain (Oberhânsli
et a1.,
1985; Rubatto, 1998)
and Calabria (Colonna and Piccarreta, 1975)
and affecting Austroalpine units.
(g) The Alpine Cycle. There is a fundamental difference between the Alpine cycle s.str. and Tethyan cycle
s.1., or between
the Alpine orogen
(Alps and Carpathes) and
the Tethysides
(Dinarides-Hellenides,
the Middle east
mountain belts and the Himalayas s.l.). The Neotethys
ocean, whose closure
was responsible for the formation of
the Tethysides
orogen,
actually does not directly interfere with Alpine geology s.str., except
in Italy (Sicily). The
Alpine Tethys should be regarded
more as an extension
of the central Atlantic ocean in the Tethyan realm rather
than a branch
ofthe larger and older Neotethys ocean
(Stampfli, 2000). In that sense, the onset
ofthe Alpine cycle
could be placed
in the Carnian,
a period corresponding
to the final closure of Paleotethys
in the Mediterranean
and
Middle east regions,
and
to the onset of rifting in the central
Atlantic-Alpine domain.
After several phases
of rifting, as described
above, and a more mature
passive
margin stage developing
during the
Cretaceous, the Alpine region entered
a phase
of convergence between
the African plate and Europe,
which closed
the Alpine cycle. The tectonic evolution of the western Alps started with the formation of an accretionary prism
related
to the closure
ofthe Alpine Tethys,
where different geological objects, corresponding
to different stages of
accretion, can be recognized
(see
also Finetti, this volume, Chapter 7):
Plate Tectonics
of the
Apulia,Adria microcontinents 159
Figure 7: Western Tethys reconstructions for the Late Cretaceous,
modified from Stampfli and Borel (2002a.
2002b). For legend see Figure l.
the
Adriatic back-stop,
comprising
an
aborted
Jurassic
rifted basin
(Lombardian
basin),
the
oceanic
accretionary
prism of the Piemont
ocean
(the
western
Alps portion
of the
Alpine Tethys).
includin-e
crustal
elements
from the
former
toe of the southern passive
margin
(lower
Austroalpine
elements
).
accreted
material
ofthe Briançonnais
terrain
derived
from the Iberic plate,
accreted
material
of the
Valais
domain,
representing
the toe
of the
European
(Helvetic
s.l.)
passii
e mar-9in,
accreted
material
of the
fbrmer
European
continental
margin
and rim basin
(Helvetic
s.str.
domain
).
160 Stampfli
In time, one
passes from the oceanic accretionary
prism to the formation of the orogenic
wedge that we place after
the detachment
or delamination of the subducting
slab in the Early Oligocene (e.g. Stampfli and
Marchant, 1995
).
The resulting heat flux allowed some
more units to be detached
from the European continental slabs
and resulted in
large-scale subduction
of continental material (Marchant and Stampfli, 1.991) and
obduction of the more external
units,
such as:
the external Variscan
massifs and their cover.
the molassic basin,
the Jura
mountains.
These were accompanied
by retro-wedge thrusting of the southern
Alps onto the Po Plain, which is a depression
located above
the former Lombard basin.
To these accretionary events
one has to add other tectonic processes such as the "Pyrenean" inversion phase
(Late
Cretaceous-Middle
Eocene) that affected
the Helvetic margin, accompanied
and followed by the Paleogene flexure
event
of the lower European
plate (Paleocene
to Miocene) in front of the advancing
tectonic wedge.
If the Alpine chain is considered to go from Nice to the Carpathian
domain, there is a fundamental difference
between the western Alps sector that we have just described
and the Austroalpine-Carpathian sector.
The end
of the story is quite similar in both areas
- an orogenic wedge is finally emplaced onto the European margin,
but the history of the Austroalpine Carpathian
wedge
is quite different in Jurassic and Cretaceous
times (Faupl and
Wagreich,
1999). Effectively these regions were first involved in the collision of the Vardar domain with the Triassic
Meliata-Maliac margin (Bernoulli, 1981; Haas etaI., 1995; Kozur, 1991a),
giving birth to the upper Austroalpine
nappes, represented
mainly by the Northern Calcareous
Alps. This means
that the Austroalpine wedge has two
sutures
in its midst, the Meliata suture
and the Penninic suture;
HP/LT rocks developed
in both (Thôni, 1999).
This Cretaceous
collision can be followed from the Austrian Alps up to Bulgaria, where the Balkan orogen
(Georgiev
et al., 2001; Tari et al., 1997)
represents the same
Early Cretaceous
collision between
an intra-oceanic-
arc domain (circum-Rhodope
units) and a passive margin (Rhodope).
The Cretaceous
reconstructions
presented
in Figures 6 and 7
, show that this collisional event
extends even more eastward
in Crimea and the Caucasus.
The
remnant Vardar and Izmir-Ankara oceans
did not survive very long after this event:
we have seen that the Vardar
started to subduct
under the newly formed Balkanic orogen to give the Srednogorie
arc; eastward,
the Izmir Ankara
Jurassic
ocean was replaced by a younger ocean,
whose
reûrnants are found in many parls of Turkey, forming up-
per structural
Cretaceous ophiolitic units, as
found in the Lycian nappes of western
Turkey (De Graciansky,
1993;
Gutnic
et al..I9l9: Okav et al.. 1996).
As we have seen above, the southward subduction of the Alpine Tethys ocean is related to the history of the
Meliata-Maliac and Vardar domain, and was inherited in the Western Alps from the pre-existing northward-
vergence
of the Austroalpine accretionary
wedge. This northward-vergence
is quite unique in the whole Alpine
and
Tethyan domain, where most orogens are south-vergent.
The change of vergence
of the Alpine Tethys subduc-
tion is found at the connection region between
the Alps and the northern Apennines (Figures 7 and 8). It must be
emphasized
here that the Penninic
Alpine prism is older (Late Cretaceous-Eocene)
than the Apenninic (Oligocene-
Pliocene): actually one started when the other one stopped.
If there is confusion between
the two it is because
the
Apenninic prism is re-mobilizing parts of the Penninic prism as exotic elements
(e.g. the Bracco ophiolitic ridge,
Elter et a1.,1966
Hoogenduijn Strating,
1991).
In this framework, where large-scale constraints
are taken into consideration,
ophiolites of the Apenninic prism
are regarded as mainly derived from the former Alpine prism which collided with the Iberic plate in Corsica and
Calabria
in Eocene times (Figure 8). These oceanic elements
were re-mobilized when the remnant
Alpine Tethys
oceanic domain (Ligurian basin) south of the Iberic plate started
to subduct northward in an ongoing process
of shortening between
Europe and Africa. The deep seismic data from the CROP project clearly show that the
southward subducting
Piemont ocean
underplated the Adriatic indenter,
and can still be recognized on the seismic
sections
(Finetti et al., 2001). The underplated
material was thereafter
displaced
northward with Adria, whereas
the
not-yet-subducted
Ligurian part ofthe Alpine Tethys started
to subduct
northward under the Iberic plate, generat-
ing HP/LT rocks (Puga,
this volume, Chapter 31). On the Eocene
reconstruction,
nearly all of this remnant ocean
is already subducted, creating an important roll-back which led to the opening of the Algero-Provençal back-arc
basin in Oligocene times (Figure 8). On the Oligocene
reconstruction,
the toe of the Tuscan-Campano-Lucanian
Plate Tectonics
of the Apulia*Adria microcontinents
Middle-Ëocene
45 Ma
IlWz Ëg ffi+ fTls l..Io ffit ffie
Late
Oligocene 25 Ma
->t a,t''t O/'c ;iÊ d
Figure 8: Western Tethys reconstructions for the Paleogene,
modified from Stampfli et al. (2002a).
1 - ocean;
2-passivemargin;3-activemargin;4-nummuliticplatform;5-marineforelandbasin;6-continental
foreland basin; 7 - rifts; 8 - epicontinental basin; a, inactive thrusts; b, active thrustsl c, Jurassic normal
faults; d, active volcanic centers.
161
?*
{Ê,{
t-
ff ,r
.ça-i!r.1191
-,.
,i' B3
'8:--- '
1a
162 Stampfli
margin would be located
just under Calabria-Corsica.
The Oligocene volcanism of Sardinia can therefore be re-
garded
as subduction
related, although the onset of the oceanic slab detachment
could also be the source
of this
volcanism.
The Alpine accretionary
prism stranded
on the border of Corsica
and Calabria starled
to collapse
back-
ward, following the build up of the new Apenninic accretionary prism. These
Ligurian units are now found in an
upper structural
position, whereas
they were in a lower one during the Alpine collision.
The Lucano-Campanian
promontory certainly formed an indenter separating
the future northern and southern
Apenninic prisms. Both prisms collapsed
into pre-existing depressions,
the Lombardian rift in the north and the
Ionian Sea
oceanic corridor in the south. These
accretionary
processes
are still in movement
today,
and are largely
covered in Chapter 12 by Finetti et al. (this volume), and in the preceding article by Mantovani (this volume,
Chapter 32).
5. CONCLUSIONS
The input of the CROP data set to the plate tectonic model developed
for the western Tethys area was of great
importance.
Two main factors
- the Permo-Triassic
age
of the Ionian, East
Mediterranean
seas,
and the unbroken
Adriatic Late Mesozoic platform, give very important constraints on the post-Variscan
continental fit of these
regions. At that time the Adria s.str. and Apulia s.str plates were sepa.rated.
The two plates were then welded
together
by an Eocimmerian event
corresponding
to the final closure of Paleotethys
in late Permian
times in these
regions.
This fit requires
a tight position of the Iberic Alboran plates
with respect
to North America and Europe,
and
also implies a long-lasting rifting phase
in the Atlantic regions now separating
these
domains.
The final position
of the Adria plate and its geometry
close
to the present
day one, was reached
through Jurassic rifting events
which
finally gave
birth to the narrow Alpine Tethys.
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... In their reconstructed palaeogeography, Bortolotti & Principi (2005) and Schmid et al. (2008) suggested that the northern passive margin of Adria faced the western sector of the Neotethys, while Schettino & Turco (2011) show that (2005) and (b) Schettino & Turco (2011). Coloured lines are present-day coastlines (light green), unit boundaries (black), rifts (orange), spreading ridges (red), subduction zones (blue), passive margins (brown, shown only by Stampfli, 2005) and transform faults (dark green). Unit names in (a): Ab -Alboran; Ap -Apulia; Cn -Carnic-Julian; Ma -Mani; Mr -Mrzlevodice fore-arc; Si -Sicanian; Sl -Slavonia; To -Talea Ori. ...
... Unit names in (b): 1 -Iberia; 2 -Tunisia; 3 -Panormide platform; 4 -Apulia; 5 -Ionian Basin; 6southern Greece; 7 -Menderes-Taurides platform; 8 -Eastern Dinaride platform; 9 -Eastern Dinaride accretionary wedge; 10southern Pannonian Basin; 11 -Tisza; 12 -Pelso. Projection and rotation of the maps have been kept as per the originals (Stampfli, 2005;Schettino & Turco, 2011). ...
... The hypothesis of a back-arc at the margins of the Adria Plate during the Permian and Triassic periods has mainly been driven by the suggested presence of a N-wards subduction south of Adria (Fig. 2a), high subsidence rates recorded in the Triassic sedimentary units of the Dolomites and the geochemical affinity of some of the magmatic rocks with present-day subductionrelated products (Stampfli et al. , 2003Armienti et al. 2003;Csontos & Vörös, 2004;Stampfli, 2005;Doglioni & Carminati, 2008;Zanetti et al. 2013). ...
Poster
The Triassic units in the southern eastern Alps include a unique suite of magmatic products, from lamprophyres, basalts and gabbroic rocks, to rhyolites and granitoids. Only few studies exist that consider this magmatic province as a whole and geochemical data are still missingthat can help constraining the main magmatic processes. The latter issue is mostly related to the high level of syn-and post-magmatic alteration of the igneous suites, which hampers the interpretation of crustal processes and mantle sources. Moreover, the complex paleogeography and the lack of a comprehensive review about the geology of this area make it difficult to link these magmatic events to the geodynamic evolution. In this work, we discuss new petrological data on carefully selected Triassic magmatic rocks from the Dolomites and Carnic Alps, Italy, and compare them to the existing data on Triassic magmatism in the eastern Alps.Accurate fieldwork and careful sample selection allowed to examine low contaminated rock types through mineralogical, chemical and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic investigations, which in turn allowed to interpret their involved mantle source(s) and their grade of crustal contamination. Major element geochemistry show a bimodality between the magmatic products of the Dolomites and Carnia regions, which might reflect a selective depletion of the crust occurred during Palaeozoic times. Overall, the data suggest a dynamic history strongly influenced by the tectonic domains of the ALCAPA (Austroalpine-West Carpathian and Pannonia) whose terrains suffered several orogenic and extensional geodynamics in the past. We will bring arguments to explain that the genesis of the investigated magmas seems not to be related to an arc-back arc system, as invoked by several authors, but rather to a pure transtentional-extensional geodynamic setting.Considering the palaeogeographic position of the investigated area within the Pangea supercontinent, it is worth noting that it is located at the edge of the intra Pangea dextral shear zone, which was probably active in Triassic times. This zone corresponds to where, at the end of the Triassic, Gondwana and Laurasia broke up and a large igneous province was emplaced (the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province). We therefore suggest that the tectonic and magmatic events in the eastern Alps can be considered a forerunner of the future break-up of Pangea into Gondwana and Laurasia.
... In their reconstructed palaeogeography, Bortolotti & Principi (2005) and Schmid et al. (2008) suggested that the northern passive margin of Adria faced the western sector of the Neotethys, while Schettino & Turco (2011) show that (2005) and (b) Schettino & Turco (2011). Coloured lines are present-day coastlines (light green), unit boundaries (black), rifts (orange), spreading ridges (red), subduction zones (blue), passive margins (brown, shown only by Stampfli, 2005) and transform faults (dark green). Unit names in (a): Ab -Alboran; Ap -Apulia; Cn -Carnic-Julian; Ma -Mani; Mr -Mrzlevodice fore-arc; Si -Sicanian; Sl -Slavonia; To -Talea Ori. ...
... Unit names in (b): 1 -Iberia; 2 -Tunisia; 3 -Panormide platform; 4 -Apulia; 5 -Ionian Basin; 6southern Greece; 7 -Menderes-Taurides platform; 8 -Eastern Dinaride platform; 9 -Eastern Dinaride accretionary wedge; 10southern Pannonian Basin; 11 -Tisza; 12 -Pelso. Projection and rotation of the maps have been kept as per the originals (Stampfli, 2005;Schettino & Turco, 2011). ...
... The hypothesis of a back-arc at the margins of the Adria Plate during the Permian and Triassic periods has mainly been driven by the suggested presence of a N-wards subduction south of Adria (Fig. 2a), high subsidence rates recorded in the Triassic sedimentary units of the Dolomites and the geochemical affinity of some of the magmatic rocks with present-day subductionrelated products (Stampfli et al. , 2003Armienti et al. 2003;Csontos & Vörös, 2004;Stampfli, 2005;Doglioni & Carminati, 2008;Zanetti et al. 2013). ...
Article
Magmatic rocks from the Dolomites, Carnic and Julian Alps, Italy, have been sampled to investigate the origin and geodynamic setting of Triassic magmatism in the Southern Alps. Basaltic, gabbroic and lamprophyric samples have been characterized for their petrography, mineral chemistry, whole-rock major and trace elements, and Sr, Nd and Pb isotopic compositions. Geothermobarometric estimates suggest that the basaltic magmas crystallized mostly at depths of 14-20 km. Isotopic data show variable degrees of crustal contamination decreasing westwards, probably reflecting a progressively more restitic nature of the crust, which has been variably affected by melting during the Permian period. Geochemical and isotopic data suggest that the mantle source was metasomatized by slab-derived fluids. In agreement with previous studies and based on geological evidence, we argue that this metasomatism was not contem-poraneous with the Ladinian-Carnian magmatism but was related to previous subduction episodes. The lamprophyres, which likely originated some 20 Ma later by lower degrees of melting and at higher pressures with respect to the basaltic suite, suggest that the mantle source regions of Triassic magmatism in the Dolomites was both laterally and vertically heterogeneous. We conclude that the orogenic signatures of the magmas do not imply any coeval subduction in the surrounding of Adria. We rather suggest that this magmatism is related to the Triassic rifting episodes that affected the western Mediterranean region and that were ultimately connected to the rifting events that caused the break-up of Pangea during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic period.
... Numerous paleogeographical reconstruction maps have been suggested for Triassic position of the tectonic units within the Tethyan realm. In general, it is accepted that as a consequence of the opening of the southern Neotethys, a continental block including Adria, Apulia, and Taurides from west to east was separated from the northern margin of Gondwana during Early Triassic (Okay, Tüysüz, & Satır, 2006;Şengör & Yılmaz, 1981;van Hinsbergen et al., 2019) or Jurassic (Barrier, Vriekynck, Brouillet, & Brunet, 2008), while in the north of this continental block, Paleotethyan ocean was subducting northward under Laurussia (Okay, 2000;Stampfli, 2005) or southward beneath Gondwana (Göncüoğlu et al., 2000;Şengör & Yılmaz, 1981). On these maps, the relative paleographical positions of the Pelagonian Zone, CB, Sakarya Zone, and MM that are directly related with our inferred tectonic model stand out as one of the fundamental differences. ...
... On these maps, the relative paleographical positions of the Pelagonian Zone, CB, Sakarya Zone, and MM that are directly related with our inferred tectonic model stand out as one of the fundamental differences. There are two views for the locations of these tectonic zones: (a) northern margin of Gondwana (Maffione & van Hinsbergen, 2018;van Hinsbergen et al., 2019) and (b) southern margin of Laurussia (Stampfli, 2005;Stampfli & Hochard, 2009). In the first view, a single oceanic basin, Vardar Ocean, has been suggested and all the ophiolitic nappes in Balkan region are rooted from this ocean and transported to the south (Maffione & van Hinsbergen, 2018 and references therein). ...
... Contrary, in the second view, a Tethyan realm consisting of multi-branches of oceanic basins and their ophiolites (i.e. Meliata, Maliac, Pindos) is assumed (Stampfli, 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Eclogite and blueschist facies rocks occurring as a tectonic unit between the underlying Menderes Massif and the overlying Afyon Zone / Lycian Nappes and the Bornova Flysch Zone in western Anatolia represent the eastward continuation of the Cycladic Blueschist Unit in Turkey. This high‐P unit is attributed to the closure of the Pindos Ocean and consists of (i) a Triassic to Upper Cretaceous coherent series derived from passive continental margin sediments and (ii) the tectonically overlying Upper Cretaceous Selçuk mélange with eclogite blocks embedded in a pelitic epidote‐blueschist matrix. The coherent series has experienced epidote ‐ blueschist facies metamorphism (490 ± 25°C / 11.5 ± 1.5 kbar; 38 km depth). 40Ar/39Ar white mica and 206Pb/238U monazite dating of quartz metaconglomerate from coherent series yielded middle Eocene ages of 44 ± 0.3 and 40.1 ± 3.1 Ma for epidote‐blueschist facies metamorphism, respectively. The epidote‐blueschist facies metamorphism of the matrix of the Selçuk mélange culminates at 520 ± 15°C / 13 ± 1.5 kbar, 43 km depth, and is dated 57.5 ± 0.3 ‐ 54.5 ± 0.1 Ma (40Ar/39Ar phengite). Eclogite facies metamorphism of the blocks (570 ± 30°C / 18 ± 2 kbar, 60 km depth) is early Eocene and dated at 56.2 ± 1.5 Ma by 206Pb/238U zircon. Eclogites experienced a nearly isothermal retrogression (490 ± 40°C / ~ 6‐7 kbar) during their incorporation into the Selçuk mélange. The retrograde overprints of the coherent series (410 ± 15°C / 7 ± 1.5 kbar from Dilek Peninsula and 485 ± 33°C / ~ 6‐7 kbar from Selçuk – Tire area) and the Selçuk mélange (510 ± 15°C / 6 ± 1 kbar) are dated at 35.8 ± 0.5 ‐ 34.3 ± 0.1 Ma by 40Ar/39Ar white mica and 31.6 ± 6.6 Ma by 206Pb/238U allanite dating methods, respectively. Regional geological constrains reveal that the contact between the Menderes Massif and the Cycladic Blueschist Unit originally formed a lithosphere‐scale transform fault zone. 40Ar/39Ar white mica age from the contact indicates that the Cycladic Blueschist Unit and the Menderes Massif were tectonically juxtaposed under greenschist facies conditions during late Eocene, 35.1 ± 0.3 Ma.
... The tectonic structure of the Adriatic plate is debated 6 . It has been considered either as an Africa promontory involved in the African-European plate collision or as an independent block separated from Africa by the Ionian oceanic crust since Mesozoic or Permian times ( 6,7 , and references therein). More recent seismic and GPS data corroborate a hypothesis that the Adriatic lithosphere behaves as two separate microplate blocks 6,8 . ...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution and state of geological structure at Earth’s surface is best understood with an accurate characterization of the subsurface. Here we present seismic tomographic images of the Italian lithosphere based on ground motion recordings and characterized by compressional and shear wavespeed structure at remarkable resolution, corresponding to a minimum period of ~10 s. Enhanced accuracy is enabled by state-of-the-art three-dimensional wavefield simulations in combination with an adjoint-state method. We focus on three primary findings of our model Im25. It highlights the distribution of fluids and gas (CO 2 ) within the Italian subsurface and their correlation with seismicity. It illuminates Mt. Etna volcano and supports the hypothesis of a deep reservoir (~30 km) feeding a shallower magma-filled intrusive body. Offshore of the eastern Italian coast, it reveals that the Adriatic plate is made of two distinct microplates, separated by the Gargano deformation zone, indicating a complex lithosphere and tectonic evolution.
... The separation of Adria from the African plate by continental rifting processes began in the Middle Triassic (Channell et al., 1979), while newer findings suggest the Permian age (e.g., Stampfli, 2005). The extension was associated to crustal-scale normal faults and the creation of horst and half-graben structures (Tari, 2002;Grandić et al., 2002;Finetti and Del Ben, 2005). ...
Article
The Kvarner area is located in the Northern Adriatic Sea, between the south-east Istrian Swell, the Rijeka coast and the Croatian sea boundary. It includes several islands, representing the outcropping parts of anticlines produced by the compressional/transpressional deformation of the External Dinaric Chain. An extensive 2D seismic dataset, acquired for hydrocarbon exploration and calibrated by wells, allowed us to reconstruct the time structural maps in Kvarner and unravel its regional fault pattern. The Dinaric compressional phase affected the area in the Late Cretaceous, with both thin- and thick-skinned tectonics related to Adriatic Carbonate Platform (AdCP) succession rigidity. Structural highs facing the Kvarner offshore from the Istrian inland continue through the Kvarner and Rijeka bays and outcrop in the islands. These anticlines, originating from the pre-Messinian Dinaric thrust system, were reactivated by the post-Messinian transpression, as testified by flower structures. Several sharp valleys represent two main low structural lineaments, developed between the anticlines and partially incised during the Messinian. They were observed throughout the entire studied area, specifically in the western part of the bays, where the lineament continues through the valleys and penetrates the SW-Istria land. Data show that the Messinian erosional effect and sedimentation patterns were influenced and driven by the morphology of older structures produced by the Dinaric compressional phase.
... On Crete, basement units of pre-Miocene age include carbonate strata accumulated on two ancient microconti nents (Apulia-Adria) and in a failed rift arm of Permian age (Thomson et al., 1998(Thomson et al., , 1999Stampfli, 2005). These basement units are usually grouped as part of a Lower Sequence that includes at its base a phyllite-quartzite unit, a Carboniferous to Middle Triassic, largely clastic, partly carbonaceous, sedimentary sequence (Krahl et al., 1983). ...
Chapter
Outcrop data from SE Crete and a high‐quality seismic volume from SE Brazil are used to characterize five types of mass‐transport deposits that are clear markers of tectonism in extensional basins. They include (1) carbonate blocks and breccia‐conglomerates showing limited gravitational collapse; (2) disrupted blocks, carbonate megabreccias, and boulder conglomerates on tectonically active slopes; (3) blocks and debris‐flow deposits accumulated distally from exposed fault scarps; (4) chaotic volumes of turbidites, chalk, and evaporites; and (5) continental/shallow‐marine debris cones derived from fault scarps. At outcrop, submarine slide blocks are observed on the slopes of tectonically active basin shoulder highs. The slide blocks occur together with sandy mass‐transport deposits that reflect the remobilization of “background” slope sediment (types 3 and 4). Soft‐sediment deformation styles document important shearing within blocks and their basal shear zones. On 3D seismic data, early‐stage mass‐transport deposits reveal important faulting and the generation of a thick basal shear zone. Mass‐transport deposits of types 1 and 2 alternate in space with type 4 intervals. We propose that the classification of mass‐transport deposits in this work can be used to recognize syn‐rift units accumulated in extensional settings throughout the world, particularly when tectonic subsidence outpaces sedimentation to hinder the deposition of “typical” syn‐rift growth geometries.
... Therefore the distribution of the species could be related to paleogeographic facts such as Apulian connections with the Balkans. Recently, Royden and Faccenna (2018) stated that the Menderes-Taurus block (Western Turkey), formed the eastern extension of the Apulian continental fragment including the current Apulia, Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia at least up to 30 -25 million years ago in Oligocene (Stampfli 2005). On the basis of fossil evidences, Poaceae are dated back 55-70 myr, although widespread grass-dominated ecosystems can be dated only to the early/middle Miocene (25 -15 myr) (Hodkinson 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Poa jubata A. Kern., an annual South-eastern European species, is reported for the first time from Italy. It is a therophyte linked to temporary ponds with soils flooded during the winter period. It is a very rare and enigmatic species, currently known only from a few localities of the Balkan Peninsula. Recently, it was surveyed in an Apulian wetland, near Brindisi, where it grows with several other annual hygrophytes. For its taxonomical isolation, it is included in a monospecific section, as P. sect. Jubatae . In addition to a detailed description, the chromosome complement (2n = 14) of this species is examined for the first time and a new iconography is provided.
... On Crete, basement units of pre-Miocene age include carbonate strata accumulated on two ancient microconti nents (Apulia-Adria) and in a failed rift arm of Permian age (Thomson et al., 1998(Thomson et al., , 1999Stampfli, 2005). These basement units are usually grouped as part of a Lower Sequence that includes at its base a phyllite-quartzite unit, a Carboniferous to Middle Triassic, largely clastic, partly carbonaceous, sedimentary sequence (Krahl et al., 1983). ...
Article
While exploration activities are flourishing in both the offshore Nile Delta Basin and the Levant Basin, Herodotus Basin remains unexplored. The study of the complex tectonic evolution of this basin is mainly hindered by large water depths, insufficient and poor seismic imaging, as well as the scarcity of well penetrations. The present study offers a new insight into the tectonic history of the eastern margin of Herodotus Basin through detailed structural study of the Rosetta Fault. Detailed structural mapping of Rosetta Fault using 3D seismic and borehole data reveals its complicated deformation history. Together with other NE-SW oriented faults in the Levant Basin and the northern Egypt onshore area, Rosetta Fault experienced different phases of slip at different times including normal slip due to extensional deformation at Triassic to early Cretaceous times and reverse slip at Late Cretaceous to Tortonian times due to the convergence of Eurasia and Afro-Arabia. Contrary to the findings of some plate tectonic models, which consider NE-SW drift of Afro-Arabia and Eurasia, the present study suggests that the direction of Mesozoic extension in Herodotus Basin (as well as the Levant Basin and the northern onshore areas of Egypt) was NW-SE based on the orientations of Mesozoic active faults. Rosetta Fault also shows deformation by sinistral transtension at Messinian and Holocene times intervened by Plio-Pleistocene normal slip. When the Rosetta Fault was affected by normal slip and transtensional deformation at Messinian to Holocene times, the Herodotus Basin lying to the NW of it was affected by NW-SE shortening associated with the Hellenic subduction. The obvious contrast in the deformation style of Rosetta Fault and the Herodotus Basin is attributed to the irregular shape of the convergent plate boundary extending from south Cyprus to SE Crete.
Article
Volcanic and subvolcanic alkaline rocks of the teschenite association of the Outer Western Carpathians are characterized by intensive late magmatic, post-magmatic, and also hydrothermal changes that modified their composition not only in rock-forming minerals, but also in accessory magnetic minerals (magnetite, titanomagnetite, maghemite) as indicated by magnetic susceptibility ranging from 10⁻⁵ to 10⁻¹ SI units. The magnetic fabric of the most sills and dykes investigated is very roughly conformable to the shapes of the bodies corresponding to the most common type of magnetic fabric in dykes and sills, which no doubt originates through magma flow. However, the fabric shows large variation, much larger than expected for volcanic magnetic fabric, which can be ascribed to late magmatic or post-magmatic alterations of magnetic minerals diminishing the magnetic fabric homogeneity. Even though the teschenite association rocks occur in the sole part of the Silesian thrust sheet, their magnetic fabric and that of host sedimentary rocks show only very weak indications of ductile deformation. Consequently, the Silesian thrust sheet responded to the tectonic movements creating thrust sheet structure by faulting and thrusting of the deformed zones and not by ductile deformation of the bulk of the thrust sheet.
Article
Full-text available
Within both of the major tectonostratigraphic units of the Eastern Alps (the Penninic and the Austroalpine complexes) the oldest ages (U-Pb on zircon) have been determined from intermediate or mafic meta-igneous rocks that indicate crystallisation of various magmatic protoliths during the Latest Proterozoic (650-600 Ma). In the Austroalpines, intense magmatic activity is constrained by U-Pb, Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr ages for the time span of 610-420 Ma. The magmas were emplaced into metasediments with a Middle Proterozoic (c. 1.6 Ga) mean crustal residence age. These Late Proterozoic-Early Palaeozoic rock-forming processes are related to rifting, as well as collisional-orogenic events. The "Zentralgneise" of the Hohe Tauern represent Carboniferous intrusions (336-308 Ma). The medium- to high-grade mineral parageneses and correlated structures of major parts of the Austroalpine " Altkristallin " (e.g. Ulten, Otztal, Schladming subunits) are also Variscan in age. An early, c. 350 (+/- 10) Ma old HP event is preserved in metabasites of the central Otztal area. In the same basement unit, the thermal peak in Grt - St - Ky +/- Sil +/- And gneisses was reached at 330 +/- 10 Ma. Regional cooling (below 500 degrees C) began at about 310 (+/- 10) Ma. Permo-Triassic rift-related events were recently confirmed by ages from various igneous assemblages (c. 290-240 Ma). This magmatic activity is related to extensional processes, mantle upwelling and initial rifting in the southeastern Austroalpine realm, which was probably accompanied by a metamorphism of low-P type (andalusite) in the continental crust. Alpine subduction, metamorphism and deformation of the basement probably commenced during the Jurassic and culminated in the internal Austroalpines during Middle Late Cretaceous times (c. 100 +/- 10 Ma), with peak PT conditions of 20 kbar and 600-700 degrees C, followed by rapid, near-isothermal decompression and exhumation, nappe thrusting and cooling (90-65 Ma). Following Austroalpine nappe imbrication and NW-directed thrusting, subduction of the southern Penninics below the Austroalpines reaches eclogite facies conditions during NS compression, at 20 kbar / 600 degrees C. However, a Late Cretaceous vs Eocene age for this subduction-related high-P metamorphism is still under discussion. Maximum temperatures in deeper tectonic levels of the Tauern window were attained during the late stages of Penninic nappe imbrication and continental collision, i.e. during exhumation, some 30 +/- 5 Ma ago. Mica cooling and apatite fission track ages in these areas are in the range of 30-15 and 10-5 Ma, respectively. In the Austroalpines, the post-Cretaceous metamorphic imprint is only local and weak. Cooling below 300 degrees C was mostly accomplished by Paleocene limes. Tertiary (mainly Oligocene) intrusions and dykes are almost unaffected by metamorphism.
Chapter
Attempts at pre-Triassic reconstruction in the Western Alps have to take into account the three phases of the development of the deformation from Late Palaeozoic to Cenozoic times. These are (1) extension and block-faulting within the Late Hercynian craton that led to the creation of the Tethyan ocean and margins during Middle Jurassic times; (2) inversion of the strain field that resulted from a change of the movement of Africa with respect to Europe during Middle Cretaceous times; (3) folding and thrusting in a compressional regime that corresponded to the closure of the Tethys and then of the collision of Africa with Europe during Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic times. Another constraint for Late Palaeozoic reconstruction is the role played by the Pelvoux-Argentera line which has been both a major transfer line of the Tethyan rift system and a lateral ramp with respect to early Alpine thrustings. The major part of the structures of the Tethyan European margin in the Central Alps has been lost beneath the huge thrust sheets of internal Alpine origin. Nevertheless, the French subalpine zones escaped severe deformation because of their location at the exterior of the major lateral ramp line. The original shape of the European passive margin is reflected in the present-day structures by the arcuate shape of the Western Alps, the distribution of lateral ramps and thrust planes and lateral asymmetric escape of rock masses during the collision.
Article
Identification of different basement components within the Mediterranean region (including Italy) is usually based on palaeotectonic restorations starting from the Triassic continental plate assembly called Pangaea. In this way, older crustal evolution during both Palaeozoic and Precambrian times is simply neglected. Here, an attempt is made to start restoration from the late Precambrian Pangaea so as to consider the roles played by Panafrican, Hercynian, Cimmerian and Alpine crustal consolidation cycles. On the basis of the various types of data presented in the paper, the following crustal zonation of the Italian and central Mediterranean area is suggested: 1) Baikalian-Panafrican, 2) European Hercynian, 3) thinned Hercynian, 4) Ionian Permo-Triassic fossil ocean, and 5) Balearic Miocene and Tyrrhenian Plio-Pleistocene new oceanic zones. -from Author