Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Boccaletti M., Corti G., Martelli L. Recent and active tectonics of the external zone of the Northern Apennines (Italy). In: International Journal of Earth Sciences, vol. 100 (6) pp. 1331 - 1348. Springer, 2011.
We present a comprehensive study of the recent and active tectonics of the external part of the Northern Apennines (Italy) by using morphotectonic, geological-structural, and stratigraphic analysis, compared with the current seismicity of the region. This analysis suggests that the external part of the Northern Apennines is characterised by presence of three major systems of Quaternary compressive structures corresponding to (1) the Apenninic watershed, (2) the Apennines-Po Plain margin (pede-Apenninic thrust front), and (3) the Emilia, Ferrara, and Adriatic Fold systems buried below the Po Plain. Geological data and interpreted seismic sections indicate a roughly N-S Quaternary deformation direction, with rates <2.5 mm/year. The shortening decreased since the Pliocene, when our data indicate compression in a NNW-SSE direction and rates up to 7 mm/year. The trend and kinematics of the structures affecting the Apennines-Po Plain margin and the Po Plain subsoil fit well the pattern of the current seismicity of the area, as well as recent GPS and geodetic levelling data, pointing to a current activity of these thrust systems controlled by an overall compressive stress field. Close to the Apenninic watershed, earthquake focal mechanisms indicate that shallow extension is associated to deep compression. The extensional events may be related to a secondary extensional stress field developing on the hangingwall of the thrust system affecting the Apenninic watershed; alternatively, this thrust system may have been recently deactivated and overprinted by active normal faulting. Deeper compressive events are related to the activity of both a major basement thrust that connects at surface with the pede-Apenninic thrust front and a major Moho structure.
URL: http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/geology/journal/531
Subject active tectonics
northern Apennines (Italy)
compressive structures

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