The interpretation of the seismic Vibroseis and explosive TRANSALP profiles has examined the upper crustal structures according to the near-surface geological evidences and reconstructions which were extrapolated to depth. Only the southern sector of the TRANSALP transect has been discussed in details, but its relationship with the whole explored chain has been considered as well. The seismic images indicate that pre-collision and deep collision structures of the Alps are not easily recognizable. Conversely, good records of the Neo-Alpine to present architecture were provided by the seismic sections.Two general interpretation models (“Crocodile” and “Extrusion”) have been sketched by the TRANSALP Working Group [2002]. Both illustrate the continental collision producing strong mechanical interaction of the facing European and African margins, as documented by giant lithosphere wedging processes. Arguments consistent with the “Extrusion” model and with the indentation of Adriatic (Southalpine) lithosphere underneath the Tauern Window (TW) are: – According to the previous DSS reconstructions, the Bouguer anomalies and the Receiver Functions seismological data, the European Moho descends regularly attaining a zone south of the Periadriatic Lineament (PL). The Moho boundary and its geometry appear to be rather convincing from images of the seismic profile; – the Tauern Window intense uplift and exhumation is coherent with the strong compression regime, which acted at depth, thus originating the upward and lateral displacement of the mobile and ductile Penninic masses according to the “Extrusion” model; – the indentation of the Penninic mobile masses within the colder and more rigid Adriatic crust cannot be easily sustained. Wedging of the Adriatic stiffened lower crust, under high stresses and into the weaker Penninic domain, can be a more suitable hypothesis. Furthermore, the intrusion of the European Penninic crustal wedge underneath the Dolomites upper crust is not supported by any significant uplifting of the Dolomites. The total average uplift of the Dolomites during the Neogene appears to be 6−7 times smaller than that recognized in the TW. Markedly the northward dip of the PL, reaching a depth of approximately 20 km, is proposed in our interpretation; – finally, the Adriatic upper crustal evolution points to the late post-collision change in the tectonic grow-up of the Eastern Alps orogenic chain. The tectonic accretion of the northern frontal zone of the Eastern and Central Alps was interrupted from the Late Miocene (Serravallian–Tortonian) onward, as documented by the Molasse basin evolution. On the contrary, the structural nucleation along the S-vergent tectonic belt of the eastern Southern Alps (Montello–Friuli thrust belt) severely continued during the Messinian and the Plio–Pleistocene. This structural evolution can be considered to be consistent with the deep under-thrusting and wedge indentation of the Adriatic lithosphere underneath the southern side of the Eastern Alps thrust-and-fold belt. Similarly, the significance of the magmatic activity for the construction of the Southern Alps crust and for its mechanical and geological differentiation, which qualified the evolution of the thrust-and-fold belt, is highlighted, starting with the Permian–Triassic magmatism and progressing with the Paleogene occurrences along the Periadriatic Lineament and in the Venetian Magmatic Province (Lessini–Euganei Hills).

Structure of the lithosphere beneath the Eastern Alps (southern sector of the TRANSALP transect)

CASTELLARIN, ALBERTO;CANTELLI, LUIGI;SELLI, LUIGI
2006

Abstract

The interpretation of the seismic Vibroseis and explosive TRANSALP profiles has examined the upper crustal structures according to the near-surface geological evidences and reconstructions which were extrapolated to depth. Only the southern sector of the TRANSALP transect has been discussed in details, but its relationship with the whole explored chain has been considered as well. The seismic images indicate that pre-collision and deep collision structures of the Alps are not easily recognizable. Conversely, good records of the Neo-Alpine to present architecture were provided by the seismic sections.Two general interpretation models (“Crocodile” and “Extrusion”) have been sketched by the TRANSALP Working Group [2002]. Both illustrate the continental collision producing strong mechanical interaction of the facing European and African margins, as documented by giant lithosphere wedging processes. Arguments consistent with the “Extrusion” model and with the indentation of Adriatic (Southalpine) lithosphere underneath the Tauern Window (TW) are: – According to the previous DSS reconstructions, the Bouguer anomalies and the Receiver Functions seismological data, the European Moho descends regularly attaining a zone south of the Periadriatic Lineament (PL). The Moho boundary and its geometry appear to be rather convincing from images of the seismic profile; – the Tauern Window intense uplift and exhumation is coherent with the strong compression regime, which acted at depth, thus originating the upward and lateral displacement of the mobile and ductile Penninic masses according to the “Extrusion” model; – the indentation of the Penninic mobile masses within the colder and more rigid Adriatic crust cannot be easily sustained. Wedging of the Adriatic stiffened lower crust, under high stresses and into the weaker Penninic domain, can be a more suitable hypothesis. Furthermore, the intrusion of the European Penninic crustal wedge underneath the Dolomites upper crust is not supported by any significant uplifting of the Dolomites. The total average uplift of the Dolomites during the Neogene appears to be 6−7 times smaller than that recognized in the TW. Markedly the northward dip of the PL, reaching a depth of approximately 20 km, is proposed in our interpretation; – finally, the Adriatic upper crustal evolution points to the late post-collision change in the tectonic grow-up of the Eastern Alps orogenic chain. The tectonic accretion of the northern frontal zone of the Eastern and Central Alps was interrupted from the Late Miocene (Serravallian–Tortonian) onward, as documented by the Molasse basin evolution. On the contrary, the structural nucleation along the S-vergent tectonic belt of the eastern Southern Alps (Montello–Friuli thrust belt) severely continued during the Messinian and the Plio–Pleistocene. This structural evolution can be considered to be consistent with the deep under-thrusting and wedge indentation of the Adriatic lithosphere underneath the southern side of the Eastern Alps thrust-and-fold belt. Similarly, the significance of the magmatic activity for the construction of the Southern Alps crust and for its mechanical and geological differentiation, which qualified the evolution of the thrust-and-fold belt, is highlighted, starting with the Permian–Triassic magmatism and progressing with the Paleogene occurrences along the Periadriatic Lineament and in the Venetian Magmatic Province (Lessini–Euganei Hills).
A. Castellarin; R. Nicolich; R. Fantoni; L. Cantelli; M. Sella; L. Selli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/24372
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