Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Marroni M., Molli G., Montanini A., Ottria G., Pandolfi L., Tribuzio R. The external Ligurian units (northern Apennine, Italy): from rifting to convergence of a fossil ocean-continent transition zone. In: Ofioliti, vol. 27 (2) pp. 119 - 131. CNR - Istituto Geoscienze e Georisorse, 2002.
The External Ligurian Units of the Northern Apennine are interpreted as derived from the continent-ocean transition domain at the northern thinned continental margin of the Adria microplate, i.e. the External Ligurian domain. The evolution of this paleogeographic realm from pre-orogenic times to the Eo-alpine and Meso-alpine tectonics is presented here, through a review of stratigraphic, petrological and structural data. The tectono-metamorphic evolution started in the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian (about 290 Ma), with the emplacement at deep crustal levels of the gabbroic protholits of mafic granulites. These lower continental crust rocks subsequentely underwent Permo-Triassic tectonic exhumation and were finally exhumed at shallow crustal levels in middle Jurassic. The latter period was characterized by extensive brittle faulting at shallow crustal levels, giving rise to extensional allochtons formed by stretched slices of upper continental crust (mainly granitoids). At deep structural levels high temperature shearing of ophiolitic gabbros took place. Opening of the Ligurian Tethys is finally testified by the basalt emplacement and radiolarian chert sedimentation in the Late Jurassic. During Late Cretaceous, development of Alpine intraoceanic subduction led to the inversion of the External Ligurian domain: the Eo-alpine deformation is recorded by syn-tectonic sedimentation of the Complessi di Base Auct., by development of very low-grade metamorphism and deformation at about 80 Ma. Middle Eocene deformation related with collision and indentation of the Adria with the Alpine accretionary wedge can be subdivided in two main stages: the first one (Ligurian Phase 1) implies large-scale, westward displacement of the EL Units, whereas the second stage (Ligurian Phase 2) is characterized by east-verging structures probably driven by the thinning of the preexisting nappe pile associated with exumation of underplated HP/LT Alpine units.
URL: http://www.edizioniets.com/ofioliti/
Subject ocean-continent transition
ligurian tethys
northern Apennine

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