Late Quaternary coastal uplift of southwestern Sicily, central Mediterranean sea

Fabrizio Pepe, Stefano Andreucci, Daniele Sechi, Vincenzo Pascucci, Daniele Sechi, Luigi Ferranti, Pierfrancesco Burrato

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Mapping and luminescence aging of raised marine terraces and aeolian ridges along an ~90 km coastalstretch in southwestern Sicily provide the first quantitative assessment of vertical tectonic deformationin this region, which spans the frontal part of an active thrust belt. We recognized a staircase of eleventerraces and nine related aeolian ridges. The elevation profile of terraces parallel to the coast shows a>90 km long bell-shaped pattern, onto which shorter-wavelength (~10 km long) undulations aresuperimposed. Luminescence ages from terraced beach deposits and aeolian sediments constrain theposition of paleoshorelines formed during MIS 5e, 7a and 7c, with a maximum uplift rate of ~0.75 mm/a,and indicate a late Middle-Late Pleistocene (80e400 ka) age for the sequence of terraces. The elevation ofLower Pleistocene morpho-depositional markers points that uplift may have occurred at similar rates atthe beginning of the Early Pleistocene, but almost zeroed between ~1.5 and 0.4 Ma before the recentrenewal. The uneven elevation of Middle-Upper Pleistocene paleoshorelines observed moving along thecoast documents that uplift embeds both a regional and a local component. The regional, symmetric bellshapeduplift is related to involvement in the thrust belt of thicker crustal portions of the northernAfrican continental margin. The short-wavelength undulations represent the local component andcorrespond to actively growing bedrock folds. The present study contributes to unravel the differentspatial and temporal scales of deformation processes at a collisional margin.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine26
RivistaQuaternary Science Reviews
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2300.2306???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1100.1105???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1200.1204???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.3300.3302???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1900.1907???


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