Distinguishing tectonically-and gravity-driven synsedimentary deformation structures along the Apulian platform margin (Gargano Promontory, southern Italy)

Irina Korneva, Emanuele Tondi, Danica Jablonska, Claudio Di Celma, Ian Alsop, Fabrizio Agosta

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The assessment of deformation types within the slope of a carbonate platform can be complicated by the possible interaction of rooted (tectonically-induced) and superficial (gravity-driven) structures. An ideal case study to document and distinguish tectonically- and gravity-driven structures is provided by the Cretaceous slope-to-basin carbonates exposed in the Gargano Promontory, southern Italy. These carbonates formed adjacent to the Apulian platform margin, which was oriented approximately NE-SW to NW-SE along the southern and northern edges of the promontory, respectively. Slump-related folds are characterised by axial planes typically oriented either sub-parallel or at small angles to the strike of the inferred paleoslope. In fact, the strike of folds is roughly NE-SW in the southern portion of the study area, whereas it is NW-SE in the northern part. Correspondingly, gravity-driven normal and reverse faults strike sub-parallel and at acute angles to the adjacent Apulian paleoslope. Cretaceous tectonic faults in the slope-to-basin carbonates form two principal sets striking NW-SE and WNW-ESE. The former set is made up of normal faults and the latter one includes mainly oblique-slip normal faults. Neither normal nor oblique-slip normal faults show any relationship with the geometry of the paleoslope. The results obtained from this study may help the interpretation of subsurface data in those geological contexts in which the interplay of gravitational and tectonic processes is responsible for deformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-491
Number of pages13
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Early online date18 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016



  • Apulian platform
  • Maiolica formation
  • synsedimentary faults
  • slumps
  • mass-transport deposits

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