The Argille varicolori (Varicolored scaly clays) of the External Ligurian Units of the Northern Apennines have been widely described as a typical unmetamorphosed broken formation (i.e., a chaotic unit without exotic blocks), produced by offscraping and tectonic imbrication during the evolution of the Ligurian accretionary wedge. Geological mapping and integrated structural and stratigraphic observations show that the Argille varicolori consist of diverse types of small-scale mélanges (non-mappable at a 1:25,000 scale) forming a composite chaotic unit, in which the superposition of tectonic, sedimentary and diapiric processes resulted in the occurrence of polygenetic chaotic bodies at different scales. These mélange units record the evolution of the Ligurian accretionary wedge from subduction to collision and intracontinental deformation. Tectonically Disrupted Body 1 (TDB1) comprises boudinage and pinch-and-swell structures formed by layer-parallel extension/contraction at the wedge front of the Ligurian accretionary complex during the late Cretaceous–middle Eocene. It is interleaved with non-mappable Gravity-driven Chaotic Bodies (GCB) developed during alternating episodes of accretion and removal of material at the wedge front. The late Oligocene–early Miocene out-of-sequence thrusting related to the collisional episodes in the Apennines overprinted the previously formed chaotic bodies and formed a polygenetic tectonic mélange (Tectonically Disrupted Body 2, TDB2). This unit is characterized by a structurally ordered block-in-matrix fabric and by the gradual decrease of stratal disruption away from the regional thrust. Overpressurized fluids concentrated along the shear surfaces, and the scaly cleavage planes facilitated the diapiric upward movement of unconsolidated sediments in the early Miocene. This process produced non-mappable shale dike injections (DDB1) and mappable Diapirically Disrupted Bodies (DDB2), which show an internal zonation of deformation. This deformation reworked the previously formed chaotic bodies. Although some of these polygenetic mélanges cannot be mapped at a 1:25,000 scale, their careful documentation provides a better understanding of time-progressive, scale-independent mélange-forming processes.

Small-scale polygenetic mélanges in the Ligurian accretionary complex, Northern Apennines, Italy, and the role of shale diapirism in superposed mélange evolution in orogenic belts

PINI, GIAN ANDREA
2012

Abstract

The Argille varicolori (Varicolored scaly clays) of the External Ligurian Units of the Northern Apennines have been widely described as a typical unmetamorphosed broken formation (i.e., a chaotic unit without exotic blocks), produced by offscraping and tectonic imbrication during the evolution of the Ligurian accretionary wedge. Geological mapping and integrated structural and stratigraphic observations show that the Argille varicolori consist of diverse types of small-scale mélanges (non-mappable at a 1:25,000 scale) forming a composite chaotic unit, in which the superposition of tectonic, sedimentary and diapiric processes resulted in the occurrence of polygenetic chaotic bodies at different scales. These mélange units record the evolution of the Ligurian accretionary wedge from subduction to collision and intracontinental deformation. Tectonically Disrupted Body 1 (TDB1) comprises boudinage and pinch-and-swell structures formed by layer-parallel extension/contraction at the wedge front of the Ligurian accretionary complex during the late Cretaceous–middle Eocene. It is interleaved with non-mappable Gravity-driven Chaotic Bodies (GCB) developed during alternating episodes of accretion and removal of material at the wedge front. The late Oligocene–early Miocene out-of-sequence thrusting related to the collisional episodes in the Apennines overprinted the previously formed chaotic bodies and formed a polygenetic tectonic mélange (Tectonically Disrupted Body 2, TDB2). This unit is characterized by a structurally ordered block-in-matrix fabric and by the gradual decrease of stratal disruption away from the regional thrust. Overpressurized fluids concentrated along the shear surfaces, and the scaly cleavage planes facilitated the diapiric upward movement of unconsolidated sediments in the early Miocene. This process produced non-mappable shale dike injections (DDB1) and mappable Diapirically Disrupted Bodies (DDB2), which show an internal zonation of deformation. This deformation reworked the previously formed chaotic bodies. Although some of these polygenetic mélanges cannot be mapped at a 1:25,000 scale, their careful documentation provides a better understanding of time-progressive, scale-independent mélange-forming processes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2700432
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