Despite increased application of subsurface datasets below the limits of seismic resolution, reconstructing near-surface deformation of shallow key stratigraphic markers beneath modern alluvial and coastal plains through sediment core analysis has received little attention. Highly resolved stratigraphy of Upper Pleistocene to Holocene (Marine Isotope Stage 5e to Marine Isotope Stage 1) alluvial, deltaic and coastal depositional systems across the southern Po Plain, down to 150 m depth, provides an unambiguous documentation on the deformation of previously flat-lying strata that goes back in time beyond the limits of morphological, historical and palaeoseismic records. Five prominent key horizons, accurately selected on the basis of their sedimentological characteristics and typified for their fossil content, were used as highly effective stratigraphic markers (M1 to M5) that can be tracked for tens of kilometres across the basin. A facies-controlled approach tied to a robust chronology (102 radiocarbon dates) reveals considerable deformation of laterally extensive nearshore (M1), continental (M2 and M3) and lagoon (M4 and M5) marker beds originally deposited in a horizontal position (M1, M4 and M5). The areas where antiformal geometries are best observed are remarkably coincident with the axes of buried ramp anticlines, across which new seismic images reveal substantially warped stratal geometries of Lower Pleistocene strata. The striking spatial coincidence of fold crests with the epicentres of historic and instrumental seismicity suggests that deformation of marker beds M1 to M5 might reflect, in part at least, syntectonically generated relief and, thus, active tectonism. Precise identification and lateral tracing of chronologically constrained stratigraphic markers in the 14C time window through combined sedimentological and palaeoecological data may delineate late Quaternary subsurface stratigraphic architecture at an unprecedented level of detail, outlining cryptic stratal geometries at the sub-seismic scale. This approach is highly reproducible in tectonically active Quaternary depositional systems and can help to assess patterns of active deformation in the subsurface of modern alluvial and coastal plains worldwide.

Deformation patterns of upper Quaternary strata and their relation to active tectonics, Po Basin, Italy

Amorosi A.;Campo B.;Costagli B.;Vaiani S. C.
2021

Abstract

Despite increased application of subsurface datasets below the limits of seismic resolution, reconstructing near-surface deformation of shallow key stratigraphic markers beneath modern alluvial and coastal plains through sediment core analysis has received little attention. Highly resolved stratigraphy of Upper Pleistocene to Holocene (Marine Isotope Stage 5e to Marine Isotope Stage 1) alluvial, deltaic and coastal depositional systems across the southern Po Plain, down to 150 m depth, provides an unambiguous documentation on the deformation of previously flat-lying strata that goes back in time beyond the limits of morphological, historical and palaeoseismic records. Five prominent key horizons, accurately selected on the basis of their sedimentological characteristics and typified for their fossil content, were used as highly effective stratigraphic markers (M1 to M5) that can be tracked for tens of kilometres across the basin. A facies-controlled approach tied to a robust chronology (102 radiocarbon dates) reveals considerable deformation of laterally extensive nearshore (M1), continental (M2 and M3) and lagoon (M4 and M5) marker beds originally deposited in a horizontal position (M1, M4 and M5). The areas where antiformal geometries are best observed are remarkably coincident with the axes of buried ramp anticlines, across which new seismic images reveal substantially warped stratal geometries of Lower Pleistocene strata. The striking spatial coincidence of fold crests with the epicentres of historic and instrumental seismicity suggests that deformation of marker beds M1 to M5 might reflect, in part at least, syntectonically generated relief and, thus, active tectonism. Precise identification and lateral tracing of chronologically constrained stratigraphic markers in the 14C time window through combined sedimentological and palaeoecological data may delineate late Quaternary subsurface stratigraphic architecture at an unprecedented level of detail, outlining cryptic stratal geometries at the sub-seismic scale. This approach is highly reproducible in tectonically active Quaternary depositional systems and can help to assess patterns of active deformation in the subsurface of modern alluvial and coastal plains worldwide.
Amorosi A.; Bruno L.; Campo B.; Costagli B.; Hong W.; Picotti V.; Vaiani S.C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/804916
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