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Authors: Ridente, D.* 
Fracassi, U.* 
Di Bucci, D.* 
Trincardi, F.* 
Valensise, G.* 
Title: Middle Pleistocene to Holocene activity of the Gondola Fault Zone (Southern Adriatic Foreland): deformation of a regional shear zone and seismotectonic implications
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Series/Report no.: 1-4/453 (2008)
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2007.05.009
Keywords: Quaternary
Foreland deformation
Active fault
Adriatic Sea
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.06. Seismic methods 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.04. Marine geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
Abstract: Recent seismicity in and around the Gargano Promontory, an uplifted portion of the Southern Adriatic Foreland domain, indicates active E–W strike-slip faulting in a region that has also been struck by large historical earthquakes, particularly along the Mattinata Fault. Seismic profiles published in the past two decades show that the pattern of tectonic deformation along the E–W-trending segment of the Gondola Fault Zone, the offshore counterpart of the Mattinata Fault, is strikingly similar to that observed onshore during the Eocene–Pliocene interval. Based on the lack of instrumental seismicity in the south Adriatic offshore, however, and on standard seismic reflection data showing an undisturbed Quaternary succession above the Gondola Fault Zone, this fault zone has been interpreted as essentially inactive since the Pliocene. Nevertheless, many investigators emphasised the genetic relationships and physical continuity between the Mattinata Fault, a positively active tectonic feature, and the Gondola Fault Zone. The seismotectonic potential of the system formed by these two faults has never been investigated in detail. Recent investigations of Quaternary sedimentary successions on the Adriatic shelf, by means of very high-resolution seismic–stratigraphic data, have led to the identification of fold growth and fault propagation in Middle–Upper Pleistocene and Holocene units. The inferred pattern of gentle folding and shallow faulting indicates that sediments deposited during the past ca. 450 ka were recurrently deformed along the E–W branch of the Gondola Fault Zone. We performed a detailed reconstruction and kinematic interpretation of the most recent deformation observed along the Gondola Fault Zone and interpret it in the broader context of the seismotectonic setting of the Southern Apennines-foreland region. We hypothesise that the entire 180 km-long Molise–Gondola Shear Zone is presently active and speculate that also its offshore portion, the Gondola Fault Zone, has a seismogenic behaviour.
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