Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse     
Balestrieri M., Benvenuti M., Tangocci F. Detrital fission-track-compositional signature of an orogenic chain-hinterland basin system: The case of the late Neogene Quaternary Valdelsa basin (Northern Apennines, Italy). In: Sedimentary Geology, vol. 289 pp. 159 - 168. Elsevier, 2013.
Detrital thermochronological data collected in syn-tectonic basin deposits are a promising tool for deciphering time and processes of the evolution of orogenic belts. Our study deals with the Valdelsa basin, one of the wider basins of central Tuscany, Italy. The Valdelsa basin is located at the rear of the Northern Apennines, a collisional orogen whose late Neogene Quaternary development is alternatively attributed to extensional and compressional regimes. These contrasting interpretations mostly rely on different reconstructions of the tectono-sedimentary evolution of several basins formed at the rear of the chain since the late Tortonian. Here, we explore the detrital thermochronological-compositional signature of tectonic and surface processes during the Valdelsa basin development. For this aim, detrital apatite fission-track analysis of 21 sand samples from the latest Messinian Gelasian fluvial to shallow marine basin deposits, has been accompanied by a clast composition analysis of 7 representative outcrops of the conglomerate facies. The grain-age distributions of the sediment samples are generally characterized by two distinct components, one younger peak (P1) varying between 5.5 2.8 and 9.5 1.0 Ma and one older peak (P2) varying from 15.0 8.0 to 41.0 10 Ma. By comparison with some bedrock ages obtained from the E-NE basin shoulder, we attributed the P2 peak to the Ligurian Units and the P1 peak to the Macigno Formation (Tuscan Units). These units are arranged one upon the other in the complex nappe pile forming the Northern Apennines orogen. While the gravel composition indicates a predominant feeding from the Ligurian units all along the sedimentary succession with a subordinate occurrence of Macigno pebbles slightly increasing upsection, the P1 peak is present even in the oldest collected sandy sediments. The early P1 occurrence reveals that the Macigno was exposed in the E-NE basin shoulder since at least the latest Messinian-early Zanclean. This means that deeper part of the structural edifice was exposed earlier than previously reported. This was likely made possible by exposures of Macigno at the cores of anticlines or on the footwall of backthrusts. Thus, the Macigno early supply claims a role for shortening in the Northern Apennines hinterland basin evolution. Our study revealed the suitability of the detrital thermochronological/compositional analysis on syn-tectonic infill of hinterland basins in discriminating between different tectonic processes affecting the late evolution of an orogenic chain.
URL: http://https://www.journals.elsevier.com/sedimentary-geology
Subject detrital thermochronology
hinterland basin
basin shoulder

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