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Two-stage growth of the Calabrian accretionary wedge in the Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean): Constraints from depth‐migrated multichannel seismic data

Abstract : New structural images of the Calabrian accretionary wedge are presented from depth‐migrated multichannel seismic data. A combined interpretation swath‐mapping bathymetry allows us to identify five morphological domains on the basis of their tectonic style. (1) Beneath the undeformed Abyssal Plain, a set of deep, NW vergent reverse faults cuts the Ionian oceanic crust and thick pre-Messinian sediments. (2) Towards the NW, the low-taper post-Messinian wedge overlying a shallow NW dipping décollement, at the base of the Messinian evaporites and exhibiting strong tectonic thickening. (3) Beneath the flat Central Transition Zone, a backthrust marks the contact between the post- and pre-Messinian wedges. Here, the décollement dip increases (> 3°) cutting through deeper sediments to reach 10 km depth. (4) Beneath the pre-Messinian Calabrian wedge, some steep landward dipping features are imaged where underplating may occur. (5) Beneath the inner plateau, a fore‐arc basin lies above the top of the Calabrian continental basement imaged at 8 km depth. The architecture of the Calabrian accretionary complex is very similar to the Mediterranean Ridge. Both systems consist of (a) an external low-taper post-Messinian wedge overlying a thick undeformed section of underthrust Mesozoic sediments and (b) an internal pre-Messinian wedge where the décollement steps down and where the underthrust section is presumably underplated. We perform area balancing and show that since the Messinian, the Calabrian accretionary wedge has undergone extremely rapid outward growth at an average rate of 30 km/Ma, which makes it the fastest growing accretionary wedge over the past 5 Ma.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 4:27:15 PM
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Flora Gallais, Marc-André Gutscher, Dirk Klaeschen, David Graindorge. Two-stage growth of the Calabrian accretionary wedge in the Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean): Constraints from depth‐migrated multichannel seismic data. Marine Geology, Elsevier, 2012, 326-328, pp.28-45. ⟨10.1016/j.margeo.2012.08.006⟩. ⟨insu-00751511⟩

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