A detailed field mapping, coupled with structural analyses and morphological investigation, has been carried out along the northern and western borders of the Hyblean Plateau (SE Sicily), in order to define the nature and the kinematics of a major Quaternary fault belt. This, here designed as the Scicli Line Fault Belt, is composed of two N50 oriented extensional basins that, linked by a regional N10 trending transfer zone, originated during the Early Pleistocene and experienced, since the Late Quaternary, a positive tectonic inversion. In both the two stages of deformation, the Scicli Line Fault Belt has been characterised by displacement-rate comparable with the relative velocities measured between the distinct plates composing the central Mediterranean region. In the period going from 1.5–1.2 to 0.85 Ma, the fault belt accommodated the entire divergence between Adria and Nubia. At present, the Scicli Line Fault Belt absorbs most of the Nubia–Eurasia convergence, while the western divergent margin of the Adria microplate has jumped to the eastern and the southern margins of the Hyblean Plateau, along the Late Quaternary Siculo–Calabrian Rift Zone. The off-shore prolongation of the two tectonic boundaries of the Hyblean Plateau has been recognised in the Sicily Channel, where they are both interrupted by a WNW-ESE oriented dextral fault. According to our reconstruction, the Hyblean Plateau represents an isolated lithospheric block, whose evolution can be related to the propagation of the western divergent margin of the Adria microplate, accompanied with the southward migration of the triple junction between Eurasia, Nubia and Adria. In this new large-scale kinematic picture, the GPS velocity measured in the Hyblean region, at the permanent site of NOTO, is actually representative of the local kinematics, rather than of the entire African promontory of southern Italy. This implies a correction of previous regional kinematic models based on combination of GPS vectors. In particular, our data constrain a new interpretation both for the kinematics along the E–Woriented Nubia–Eurasia margin, dominated by prevalent dextral deformation rather than reverse motions, and for the intraplate deformation in the Sicily Channel, within the Africa promontory, which would be dominated by a roughly N110° oriented extension. This conclusion has implication also on the mechanism and the origin of the Pantelleria–Linosa–Malta Rift that is here interpreted as a transtensive feature developed along a major transform fault, rather than the result of passive rifting induced by the Nubia–Eurasia collision, as it is currently interpreted.
|Titolo:||The migration of plate boundaries in SE Sicily: influence on the large-scale kinematic model of the African Promontory in southern Italy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|