Hercynian basement rocks and Mesozoic ophiolites of the Calabria-Peloritani terrane drifted in the present position during the opening of western Mediterranean basins (namely Liguro-Provençal and Tyrrhenian basins) since the Oligocene. Basement rocks were partly involved by Alpine (late Cretaceous—Eocene) deformation and metamorphism before the onset of the drifting process. Even though the kinematics of the Alpine deformation in Calabria has been already defined, restoration of structural and kinematic data to the original position and orientation before the opening of the western Mediterranean has never been performed. In this work we present new structural and petrological data on a major tectonic contact of Alpine age exposed in central Calabria (Serre Massif). Structural and kinematic data are then restored at the original orientation in the early Oligocene time, to allow a correct tectonic interpretation. In the Serre Massif the Hercynian basement is sliced into three nappes emplaced during the Alpine orogeny. The upper nappe is formed by a nearly continuous section of the Hercynian crust, consisting of medium- to high-grade metamorphic rocks in the lower portion. The intermediate nappe mainly consists of orthogneisses, whereas the lower nappe is chiefly composed of phyllites. The contacts between the Alpine nappes are outlined by well developed mylonitic and cataclastic rocks. The Curinga-Girifalco Line is a well exposed shear zone that overprints mainly metapelitic rocks of the upper nappe and granitoid orthogneisses of the intermediate nappe. Mylonites of the intermediate nappe typically show overgrowths on garnet and hornblende with grossular-rich and tschermakitic composition, respectively. The Alpine mineral assemblage indicates that deformation took place in epidote-amphibolite facies at pressures ranging from 0.75 to 0.9 GPa. In the investigated area mylonites strike roughly WNW–ESE, with shallow dips towards SSW. Kinematic indicators in mylonites are mostly consistent with a top-to-the-SE shear sense in the present geographic coordinates. The mylonitic belt is affected by later extensional faults outlined by South-dipping cataclasite horizons. Published geochronological data indicate that mylonites and cataclasites developed in Eocene and early Miocene times, respectively. Considering rotational parameters coming from paleomagnetic studies and large-scale palinspastic reconstructions, the shear sense of the Curinga-Girifalco Line has been restored to the early Oligocene position and orientation. Through restoration a top-to-the-S shear sense is obtained. This result is in striking agreement with the convergence direction between Africa and W-Europe/Iberia during Eocene, computed from the North Atlantic magnetic anomalies. Our geodynamic reconstruction, combined with structural and petrological evidence, allows to relate the Curinga-Girifalco mylonites to a thrust related to the southeastern front of the double-verging Alpine chain. The adopted method could be used also for other exotic terranes, such as the Kabylie or the Corsica-Sardinia, to better constrain geometry and evolution of the southern Alpine belt.

The Curinga-Girifalco fault zone (northern Serre, Calabria) and its significance within the Alpine tectonic evolution of the western Mediterranean.

PROSSER, Giacomo;
2006

Abstract

Hercynian basement rocks and Mesozoic ophiolites of the Calabria-Peloritani terrane drifted in the present position during the opening of western Mediterranean basins (namely Liguro-Provençal and Tyrrhenian basins) since the Oligocene. Basement rocks were partly involved by Alpine (late Cretaceous—Eocene) deformation and metamorphism before the onset of the drifting process. Even though the kinematics of the Alpine deformation in Calabria has been already defined, restoration of structural and kinematic data to the original position and orientation before the opening of the western Mediterranean has never been performed. In this work we present new structural and petrological data on a major tectonic contact of Alpine age exposed in central Calabria (Serre Massif). Structural and kinematic data are then restored at the original orientation in the early Oligocene time, to allow a correct tectonic interpretation. In the Serre Massif the Hercynian basement is sliced into three nappes emplaced during the Alpine orogeny. The upper nappe is formed by a nearly continuous section of the Hercynian crust, consisting of medium- to high-grade metamorphic rocks in the lower portion. The intermediate nappe mainly consists of orthogneisses, whereas the lower nappe is chiefly composed of phyllites. The contacts between the Alpine nappes are outlined by well developed mylonitic and cataclastic rocks. The Curinga-Girifalco Line is a well exposed shear zone that overprints mainly metapelitic rocks of the upper nappe and granitoid orthogneisses of the intermediate nappe. Mylonites of the intermediate nappe typically show overgrowths on garnet and hornblende with grossular-rich and tschermakitic composition, respectively. The Alpine mineral assemblage indicates that deformation took place in epidote-amphibolite facies at pressures ranging from 0.75 to 0.9 GPa. In the investigated area mylonites strike roughly WNW–ESE, with shallow dips towards SSW. Kinematic indicators in mylonites are mostly consistent with a top-to-the-SE shear sense in the present geographic coordinates. The mylonitic belt is affected by later extensional faults outlined by South-dipping cataclasite horizons. Published geochronological data indicate that mylonites and cataclasites developed in Eocene and early Miocene times, respectively. Considering rotational parameters coming from paleomagnetic studies and large-scale palinspastic reconstructions, the shear sense of the Curinga-Girifalco Line has been restored to the early Oligocene position and orientation. Through restoration a top-to-the-S shear sense is obtained. This result is in striking agreement with the convergence direction between Africa and W-Europe/Iberia during Eocene, computed from the North Atlantic magnetic anomalies. Our geodynamic reconstruction, combined with structural and petrological evidence, allows to relate the Curinga-Girifalco mylonites to a thrust related to the southeastern front of the double-verging Alpine chain. The adopted method could be used also for other exotic terranes, such as the Kabylie or the Corsica-Sardinia, to better constrain geometry and evolution of the southern Alpine belt.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/4389
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