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Authors: Neri, G.* 
Marotta, A. M.* 
Orecchio, Barbara* 
Presti, D.* 
Totaro, Cristina* 
Barzaghi, R.* 
Borghi, Alessandra* 
Title: How lithospheric subduction changes along the Calabrian Arc in southern Italy: geophysical evidences
Issue Date: 2012
Series/Report no.: /101 (2012)
DOI: 10.1007/s00531-012-0762-7
Keywords: Gravity anomalies and earth structure
Seismicity and tectonics
Seismic tomography
subduction zone processes
Abstract: Recent tomographic investigations performed down to ~300 km depth in the Calabrian Arc region gave insight in favor of the hypothesis that the Ionian subducting slab is continuous in depth beneath the central part of the Arc, while detachment of the deep portion of the subducting structure may have already taken place beneath the edges of the Arc itself. In the present study, we perform new geophysical analyses to further explore the structure of the subduction system and the structure and kinematics of the crustal units in the study area for a more comprehensive view of the local geodynamic scenario. Local earthquake tomography that we address to the exploration of the upper 40 km in the whole region of southern Italy furnishes P-wave velocity domains, suggesting southeast-ward long-term drifting of the southern Tyrrhenian unit with an advancement front matching well with the segment of Calabrian Arc where the subducting slab was found continuous and trench retreat can be presumed to have been active in the most recent times. This scenario of retreating subduction trench inducing drifting of the lithospheric unit overriding the subducting slab is further supported by the analysis of gravity anomalies, allowing us to better constrain the transitional zones between different subduction modes (continuous vs. detached slab) along the Arc. Also, the relocation of recent crustal seismicity, associated with geostructural data taken from the literature, provides evidence for NW-trending seismogenic structures in northeastern Sicily and northern Calabria that we interpret as Subduction-Transform Edge Propagator (STEP) faults guiding the southeast-ward drifting process of the southern Tyrrhenian unit. Crustal earthquake relocations show also seismolineaments in southern Calabria corresponding to the NE-trending longitudinal structures of the Arc where the great shallow earthquakes of 28 December 1908, and 5 and 7 February 1783 occurred. Seismicity and the extensional stress regime detected in these structures find also reasonable location in the proposed scenario, being interpretable in terms of shallow response of the central segment of the Arc to slab rollback and trench retreat.
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