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Authors: Speranza, F.* 
Maniscalco, R.* 
Mattei, M.* 
Di Stefano, A.* 
Butler, R. W. H.* 
Funiciello, R.* 
Title: Timing and magnitude of rotations in the frontal thrust systems of southwestern Sicily
Issue Date: 1999
Series/Report no.: 6 / 18 (1999)
Keywords: paleomagnetism
tectonic rotations
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.06. Paleomagnetism 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
Abstract: We report new paleomagnetic and anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) results from upper Tortonian to middle Pleistocene sediments which were deposited upon and adjacent to active thrust structures in southwestern Sicily. The data show that the Plio-Pleistocene sediments from the Belice and Menfi basins (covering the Saccense shelf limestones) underwent any internal shortening after the early Pleistocene (Santernian), as well as any net rotation. Sediments around this area (which overlie basinal Meso-Cenozoic successions) record systematic rotations: one upper Tortonian site to the west is ~30° counterclockwise rotated, while to the east, lower Pliocene to middle lower Pleistocene sites within the Gela Nappe domain show 25° to 56° clockwise (CW) rotations. These data show that the ductile basinal sediments were bent and rotated around the rigid Saccense carbonates during the thin-skinned southward propagation of the orogenic front. We document here that the coastal sediments from the southwestern Gela Nappe underwent both a post middle early Pleistocene ~30° CW rotation and a post middle Pleistocene E-W to ESE-WNW flattening (revealed by AMS). Our data then constrain to the late Pleistocene-Holocene the age of the last shortening episode occurring in the southwestern Gela Nappe front. Pleistocene rotations of similar amount also characterize the Sicanian domain, implying that it was incorporated in the Gela Nappe wedge during the recentmost episodes of deformation. This evidence allows us to better understand the very large (up to 114°) post Mesozoic rotations reported by Channell et al. [1980, 1990] for the Sicanian limestones, as related to both Miocene (or older?) deformational episodes and the Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the Gela Nappe.
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