Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Marroni M., Molli G., Ottria G., Pandolfi L. Tectono-sedimentary evolution of the External Liguride units (northern Appennines, Italy): insights in the pre-collisional history of a fossil ocean-continent transition zone. In: Geodinamica Acta, vol. 14 (5) pp. 307 - 320. Taylor and Francis, 2001.
In the Northern Apennines, the External Liguride (EL) units are interpreted as derived from the domain that joined the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin to the Adriatic plate continental margin. The EL units can be divided into two different groups according to the lithostratigraphic features of the basal complexes underlying the Upper Cretaceous-Lower Tertiary carbonate flysch (e.g. Helminthoid flysch). The first group includes the western successions characterized by Santonian-Campanian sedimentary melanges where slide blocks of lherzolitic mantle, gabbros, basalts, granulites, continental granitoids are represented. The second group is represented by the eastern successions where the Cenomanian-Campanian basal complexes mainly consist of sandstones and conglomerates where the mafic and ultramafic rocks are scarce or completely lacking. Their original substrate is represented by the Middle Triassic to Lower Cretaceous, mainly platform carbonate deposits, found as slices at the base of the eastern successions. The stratigraphic features shown by the basal complexes allow the reconstruction of their source area that is assumed to be also representative for the pre-Upper Cretaceous setting. The proposed reconstruction suggests the occurrence in the EL domain of two distinct domains. The eastern domain was characterized by a thinned and faulted continental crust belonging to the Adriatic continental margin. The western domain was instead floored by subcontinental mantle associated with lower and upper continental crust, representing the ocean-continent transition. This setting is interpreted as the result of the opening of the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin by passive rifting, mainly developed by simple shear, asymmetric extension of the continental crust.
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tgda20
Subject rifting
ocean-continent transition
External Liguride units
Northern Apennines

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