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Authors: Maffione, M.* 
Speranza, F.* 
Faccenna, C.* 
Cascella, A.* 
Vignaroli, G.* 
Sagnotti, L.* 
Title: A synchronous Alpine and Corsica-Sardinia rotation
Issue Date: Mar-2008
Series/Report no.: / 113 (2008)
DOI: 10.1029/2007JB005214
Keywords: Paleomagnetism
Tertiary Piedmont Basin
Paleomagnetic directions
Biostratigraphic evidence
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.06. Paleomagnetism 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.02. Geodynamics 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.04. Plate boundaries, motion, and tectonics 
Abstract: We report on the paleomagnetism of 34 sites from lower Oligocene–middle Miocene sediments exposed in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (TPB, northern Italy). The TPB is formed by a thick (4000 m) and virtually undeformed sedimentary succession unconformably lying upon Alpine nappes decapitated by extensional exhumation, which in turn are tectonically stacked over the Adriatic foreland. Paleomagnetic directions from 23 (mostly Oligocene) sites were chronologically framed using new biostratigraphic evidence from calcareous nannoplankton. Our data, along with published paleomagnetic results, show that the TPB rotated 50 counterclockwise with respect to Africa in Aquitanian-Serravallian times. The rotation was likely driven by underneath nappe stacking and was synchronous with (further) bending of the Alpine chain. Both the rotation magnitude and its timing are similar to those documented for the Corsica-Sardinia microplate. Therefore the formation of the western Alpine arc (or at least part of its present-day curvature) occurred during the rollback of the Apenninic slab and related back-arc spreading of the Liguro-Provenc¸al Basin and drift of the Corsica-Sardinia block. This suggests a common dynamics driving both the Alpine and the Apennine slab motions. Paleomagnetic data also document that the Adriatic plate has undergone no paleomagnetic rotation since mid-late Miocene times. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility data suggests that the TPB, an enigmatic basin arising from a controversial tectonic setting, formed in an extensional regime characterized by a stretching direction approximately orthogonal to the main trend of the underlying chain.
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