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Authors: Sciunnach, D.* 
Scardia, G.* 
Tremolada, F.* 
Premoli Silva, I.* 
Title: The Monte Orfano Conglomerate revisited: stratigraphic constraints on Cenozoic tectonic uplift of the Southern Alps (Lombardy, northern Italy)
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: /99 (2010)
DOI: 10.1007/s00531-009-0452-2
Keywords: Southern Alps
Calcareous Nannofossil biostratigraphy
Clastic Provenance
Shelf Fan-Delta
Retroforeland basin
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.08. Sediments: dating, processes, transport 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
Abstract: The Monte Orfano Conglomerate (MOC), exposed in the foothills of the Southern Alps (northern Italy), is one of the few outcrops of sediments documenting the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Alpine retrowedge. Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy allowed us to constrain the upper part of the MOC, formerly attributed to the Early-Middle Miocene in the type-locality, to the earliest Miocene (Neogene part of the NN1 nannofossil zone). A likely latest Oligocene age is therefore suggested for the bulk of the underlying conglomerates, whose base is not exposed. Deposition of the MOC can be placed within the post-collisional tectonic uplift of the Alps, documented in the Lake Como area by the Como Conglomerate (CC) at the base of the Gonfolite Lombarda Group, and supports the correlation with Upper Oligocene clastic sediments cropping out further to the East, in the Lake Garda and in the Veneto-Friuli areas (‘‘molassa’’). The remarkable difference in petrographic composition between the western (CC) and eastern (MOC) clastics deposited in the Alpine retro-foreland basin highlights the synchronous tectonic activity of two structural domains involving different crustal levels. Whilst the bulk of the CC, that straddles the Oligocene/Miocene boundary, records largely the tectonic exhumation of the Alpine axial chain crystalline complexes, the coeval MOC consists of detritus derived from the superficial crustal section (Triassic to Paleogene sedimentary rocks) of the Alpine retrowedge and constrains the onset of the post-collisional deformation phase of the Southern Alps as not younger than the Late Oligocene.
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