Sedimentary bodies emplaced by mass-wasting processes and exceeding tens of metres of thickness and a hundred of square kilometres in area are widespread in the Cretaceous-Pleistocene marine successions of the Northern Apennines of Italy. At least 10 such bodies are present in the stratigraphic record of the Oligo-Miocene foredeep during the northeastern, time-transgressive migration of the accretionary wedge-foredeep system. The term mass-wasting complex (MWC) is here adopted for these bodies to emphasize their multistory emplacement mechanism and polymictic composition with variously deformed slabs of different lithology, age and provenance. As one of the more intriguing features, their occurrence was associated with changes in turbidite deposition from basin plain to slope. Wide sectors of the internal margin of the basin (lobe-fan) and even of the basin plain become a slope at the front of the accretionary wedge for a limited period of time (temporary slope). The temporary slope supplied the intrabasinal components of the MWCs, whereas the diffused extrabasinal components came from the front of the accretionary wedge. Therefore, an enhanced instability of the entire foredeep-wedge system occurred systematically and cyclically. As a consequence, many variously consolidated sediments were transferred into the foredeep basin invading the depocentre and forcing the turbidite deposition towards the foreland, in a more northeasterly position. The presence of such MWCs therefore conditioned basin size and geometry in an analogous way as that reported for some modern convergent margins, as in the case of Costa Rica. Normal sedimentation was restored on top of the MWC only after the levelling of topographic irregularities.

Basin-wide mass-wasting complexes as markers of the Oligo-Miocene foredeep-accretionary wedge evolution in the Northern Apennines, Italy.

PINI, GIAN ANDREA
2008

Abstract

Sedimentary bodies emplaced by mass-wasting processes and exceeding tens of metres of thickness and a hundred of square kilometres in area are widespread in the Cretaceous-Pleistocene marine successions of the Northern Apennines of Italy. At least 10 such bodies are present in the stratigraphic record of the Oligo-Miocene foredeep during the northeastern, time-transgressive migration of the accretionary wedge-foredeep system. The term mass-wasting complex (MWC) is here adopted for these bodies to emphasize their multistory emplacement mechanism and polymictic composition with variously deformed slabs of different lithology, age and provenance. As one of the more intriguing features, their occurrence was associated with changes in turbidite deposition from basin plain to slope. Wide sectors of the internal margin of the basin (lobe-fan) and even of the basin plain become a slope at the front of the accretionary wedge for a limited period of time (temporary slope). The temporary slope supplied the intrabasinal components of the MWCs, whereas the diffused extrabasinal components came from the front of the accretionary wedge. Therefore, an enhanced instability of the entire foredeep-wedge system occurred systematically and cyclically. As a consequence, many variously consolidated sediments were transferred into the foredeep basin invading the depocentre and forcing the turbidite deposition towards the foreland, in a more northeasterly position. The presence of such MWCs therefore conditioned basin size and geometry in an analogous way as that reported for some modern convergent margins, as in the case of Costa Rica. Normal sedimentation was restored on top of the MWC only after the levelling of topographic irregularities.
Lucente C.C.; Pini G.A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/48908
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