In the western Mediterranean, following the intervening continent-continent collision, the subduction of the Tethyan ocean has progressively come to an end or almost in large sectors. Compressional deformation connected with the ongoing Africa–Eurasia convergence has therefore progressively resumed mostly along the southern passive margins of the Mediterranean back-arc basins. The aim of this paper is to trace this nascent boundary and constrain its kinematics through geodetic and seismological data recorded between the Ionian Sea and Gulf of Cadiz, and through pre-existing tectonic data. Based on these data, the nascent plate boundary is drawn, kinematically defined, and compared with the previously identified boundaries in the same region. The nascent boundary is weaving and formed by variably oriented inherited structures. It is characterized by a discrepancy between the general motion of Africa with respect to Eurasia and the local contractional/compressive axes deduced from geodetic and seismic data. The oblique convergence along the nascent boundary matches that recorded in other instances of subduction initiation elsewhere; however, the average convergence rate (∼5mm/yr) in the Mediterranean seems currently too small for such a subduction initiation. Based on the assumption of a future northward tectonic vergence (i.e., Eurasian foreland), the Tyrrhenian, Algerian, and Betic salients, the Oran and Fès recesses, and the Ionian, Trans-Alboran, and Gibraltar transfer zones are identified along the nascent boundary. The latter zones connect salients and recesses through strike-slip displacements. The Algerian offshore hosts a long segment of the boundary characterized by locally increased seismic rate and actual northward vergence that would suggest this area being the first nucleus of subduction initiation in the western Mediterranean, as was previously proposed.

Billi A, Cuffaro M, Orecchio B, Palano M, Presti D, Totaro C (2023). Retracing the Africa–Eurasia nascent convergent boundary in the western Mediterranean based on earthquake and GNSS data. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 601, 1-15 [10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117906].

Retracing the Africa–Eurasia nascent convergent boundary in the western Mediterranean based on earthquake and GNSS data

Palano M;
2023-01-01

Abstract

In the western Mediterranean, following the intervening continent-continent collision, the subduction of the Tethyan ocean has progressively come to an end or almost in large sectors. Compressional deformation connected with the ongoing Africa–Eurasia convergence has therefore progressively resumed mostly along the southern passive margins of the Mediterranean back-arc basins. The aim of this paper is to trace this nascent boundary and constrain its kinematics through geodetic and seismological data recorded between the Ionian Sea and Gulf of Cadiz, and through pre-existing tectonic data. Based on these data, the nascent plate boundary is drawn, kinematically defined, and compared with the previously identified boundaries in the same region. The nascent boundary is weaving and formed by variably oriented inherited structures. It is characterized by a discrepancy between the general motion of Africa with respect to Eurasia and the local contractional/compressive axes deduced from geodetic and seismic data. The oblique convergence along the nascent boundary matches that recorded in other instances of subduction initiation elsewhere; however, the average convergence rate (∼5mm/yr) in the Mediterranean seems currently too small for such a subduction initiation. Based on the assumption of a future northward tectonic vergence (i.e., Eurasian foreland), the Tyrrhenian, Algerian, and Betic salients, the Oran and Fès recesses, and the Ionian, Trans-Alboran, and Gibraltar transfer zones are identified along the nascent boundary. The latter zones connect salients and recesses through strike-slip displacements. The Algerian offshore hosts a long segment of the boundary characterized by locally increased seismic rate and actual northward vergence that would suggest this area being the first nucleus of subduction initiation in the western Mediterranean, as was previously proposed.
2023
Billi A, Cuffaro M, Orecchio B, Palano M, Presti D, Totaro C (2023). Retracing the Africa–Eurasia nascent convergent boundary in the western Mediterranean based on earthquake and GNSS data. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 601, 1-15 [10.1016/j.epsl.2022.117906].
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2023_Billi et al [Africa-Eurasia plate boundary] EPSL_compressed.pdf

accesso aperto

Dimensione 8.18 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
8.18 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/636527
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact