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Authors: Métois, M.* 
D'Agostino, Nicola* 
Avallone, Antonio* 
Chamot-Rooke, N.* 
Rabaute, A.* 
Duni, L.* 
Kuka, N.* 
Koci, R.* 
Georgiev, I.* 
Title: Insights on continental collisional processes from GPS data: Dynamics of the peri-Adriatic belts
Issue Date: 2015
Series/Report no.: /120 (2015)
DOI: 10.1002/2015JB012023
Abstract: We present a new GPS velocity field covering the peri-Adriatic tectonically active belts and the entire Balkan Peninsula. From the velocities, we calculate consistent strain rate and interpolated velocity fields. Significant features of the crustal deformation include (1) the eastward motion of the northern part of the Eastern Alps together with part the Alpine foreland and Bohemian Massif toward the Pannonian Basin, (2) shortening across the Dinarides, (3) a clockwise rotation of the Albanides-Hellenides, and (4) a southward motion south of 44°N of the inner Balkan lithosphere between the rigid Apulia and Black Sea, toward the Aegean domain. Using this new velocity field, we derive the strain rate tensor to analyze the regional style of the deformation. Then, we devise a simple test based on the momentum balance equation, to investigate the role of horizontal gradients of gravitational potential energy in driving the deformation in the peri-Adriatic tectonically active mountain belts: the Eastern Alps, the Dinarides, the Albanides, and the Apennines. We show that the strain rate fields observed in the Apennines and Albanides are consistent with a fluid, with viscosity η ∼ 3×1021 Pa s, deforming in response to horizontal gradients of gravitational potential energy. Conversely, both the Dinarides and Eastern Alps are probably deforming in response to the North and North-East oriented motion of the Adria-Apulia indenter, respectively, and as a consequence of horizontal lithospheric heterogeneity.
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