Polyphase evolution of a crustal-scale shear zone during progressive exhumation from ductile to brittle behaviour: a case study from Calabria, Italy
E. Fazio, G. Ortolano, R. Cirrincione, A. Pezzino, and R. Visalli
Università degli Studi di Catania, Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Corso Italia 57, 95129 Catania, Italy
Received: 30 Dec 2014 – Accepted for review: 06 Feb 2015 – Discussion started: 06 Mar 2015
Abstract. Mylonitic rocks involved within a polyphase crustal-scale shear zone, cropping out in the Aspromonte Massif (Calabria, Italy), has been investigated to reveal the meso- and micro-structural evolution (from ductile- to brittle-type deformation) occurred during exhumation trajectory. A relatively small area (about 4 km2) has been selected in the central-eastern part of the massif to constrain the sequence of the structural features from the earliest ones (Hercynian in age), almost totally obliterated by a pervasive mylonitic foliation (plastic regime), up to recent ones, consisting of various sets of veins typical of semibrittle to brittle regime. The former ductile evolution was followed by a compressive thin-skinned thrusting stage developed during the Apennine phase of the Alpine Orogeny, interested by a second brittle stage, consistent with the switching from compressive to extensional tectonics. This last stage accompanied the final exhumation process causing the activation of regional scale normal faults, which partly disarticulated previous mylonitic microstructures. A suite of oriented specimens were collected and analyzed to complete the deformational history already recognized in the field. Quartz c axis orientation patterns confirm the greenschist facies conditions of the former ductile exhumation stage with a dominant top-to-NE sense of shear. Microstructural investigations highlighted the progressive development from plastic- to brittle-type structures, allowing to constrain each step of the multistage exhumation history, and to establish the relative timing of the stress field variation causing thrusting and subsequent normal faulting. Obtained results support a continue compressional exhumation of this sector since the opening of Tyrrhenian basin (10 Ma).
Fazio, E., Ortolano, G., Cirrincione, R., Pezzino, A., and Visalli, R.: Polyphase evolution of a crustal-scale shear zone during progressive exhumation from ductile to brittle behaviour: a case study from Calabria, Italy, Solid Earth Discuss., 7, 909-955, doi:10.5194/sed-7-909-2015, 2015.