Geomorphological evolution of western Sicily, Italy

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Abstract

This paper proposes a morphoevolutionary model for western Sicily. Sicily is a chain–foredeep–forelandsystemstill being built, with tectonic activity involving uplift which tends to create new relief. To reconstruct themorphoevolutionarymodel, geological, and geomorphological studies were done on the basis of field survey and aerialphotographic interpretation. The collected data show large areas characterized by specific geological, geomorphological,and topographical settings with rocks, landforms, and landscapes progressively older from south to north Sicily.The achieved results display: (1) gradual emersion of new areas due to uplift, its interaction with the Quaternaryglacio-eustatic oscillations of the sea level, and the following production of a flight of stair-steps of uplifted marineterracesin southern Sicily, which migrates progressively upward and inwards; in response to the uplift (2) triggering ofdown-cutting processes that gradually dismantle the oldest terraces; (3) competition between uplift and down-cuttingprocesses, which is responsible for the genesis of river valleys and isolated rounded hills in central Sicily; (4) continuousdeepening over time that results in the exhumation of older and more resistant rocks in northern Sicily, where the higherheights of Sicily are realized and the older forms are retained; (5) extensional tectonic event in the northern end of Sicily,that produces the collapse of large blocks drowned in the Tyrrhenian Sea and sealed by coastal-marine deposits duringthe Calabrian stage; (6) trigger of uplift again in the previously subsiding blocks and its interaction with coastal processesand sea level fluctuations, which produce successions of marine terraces during the Middle–Upper Pleistocene stages.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)80-93
Numero di pagine14
RivistaGeologica Carpathica
Volume68
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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  • Geology

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