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Authors: D'Agostino, N.* 
Jackson, J.* 
Dramis, F.* 
Funiciello, R.* 
Title: Interactions between mantle upwelling, drainage evolution and active normal faulting: an example from the central Apennines (Italy)
Issue Date: 16-Jun-2001
Series/Report no.: 147(2001)
Keywords: crustal deformation
mantle upwelling
normal faulting
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: In this paper we show that the processes that have shaped the Quaternary surface development of the Apennines in central Italy are all consequences of a single subcrustal process, the upwelling of the mantle. The relationship between gravity and topography shows that mantle convection is responsible for a long-wavelength (150–200 km) topographic bulge over the central Apennines, and stratigraphic evidence suggests this bulge developed in the Quaternary. Active normal faulting is localized at the crest of this bulge and produces internally-draining fault-bounded basins. These basins have been progressively captured by the aggressive headward erosion of major streams that cut down to the sea on the flanks of the regional bulge. The only surviving closed basins are those on the Apennine watershed most distant from the marine base level, where continued normal faulting is still able to provide local subsidence that defeats their capture by the regional drainage network. Understanding the competition between regional capture and local, fault-related subsidence of intermontane basins is crucial for recognizing potentially hazardous active faults in the landscape and also for interpreting the sediment supply to adjacent offshore regions. Central Italy provides a good modern analogue for processes that are probably common in the geological record, particularly on rifted margins and intracontinental rifts, but may not have been fully appreciated.
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