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Rifting and shallow-dipping detachments, clues from the Corinth Rift and the Aegean

Abstract : The Corinth Rift is superimposed on the Hellenic nappe stack that formed at the expense of the Apulian continental crust above the subducting African slab. Extension started in the Pliocene and the major steep normal faults that control the geometry of the present-day rift were born very recently, some 600 kyr ago only. They root into a shallow-dipping zone of microseismicity recorded near the base of the upper crust. The significance of this seismogenic zone is debated. Considering the northward dip of the zone of microseismicity, the depth of microearthquakes and their focal mechanisms, we observe a strong similarity with the northern Cycladic detachments in terms of expected pressure, temperature conditions and kinematics. We herein show (1) that the formation of the Corinth Rift can be considered a part of a continuum of extension that started some 30–35 Ma in the Aegean and that was recently localised in a more restricted area, (2) that the present-day structure and kinematics of the Corinth Rift can be explained with a series of decollements relayed by steeper ramps that altogether formed a mechanically weak, crustal-scale detachment, and (3) that the deformation, fluid behaviour and metamorphic features seen in the northern Cycladic metamorphic core complexes can be good analogues of the processes at work below the Corinth Rift.
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Laurent Jolivet, Loic Labrousse, Philippe Agard, Olivier Lacombe, Vivien Bailly, et al.. Rifting and shallow-dipping detachments, clues from the Corinth Rift and the Aegean. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2010, 483 (3-4), pp.287-304. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2009.11.001⟩. ⟨insu-00448474⟩

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