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Authors: Faccenna, C.*
Molin, P.*
Orecchio, B.*
Olivetti, V.*
Bellier, O.*
Funiciello, F.*
Minelli, L.*
Piromallo, C.* 
Billi, A.*
Title: Topography of the Calabria subduction zone (southern Italy): Clues for the origin of Mt. Etna
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2011
Series/Report no.: /30(2011)
DOI: 10.1029/2010TC002694
Keywords: topography
Calabrian Arc
mantle flow
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.02. Geodynamics 
Abstract: Calabria represents an ideal site to analyze the topography of a subduction zone as it is located on top of a narrow active Wadati-Benioff zone and shows evidence of rapid uplift. We analyzed a pattern of surface deformation using elevation data with different filters and showed the existence of a long wavelength (>100 km) relatively positive topographic signal at the slab edges. The elevation of MIS 5.5 stage marine terraces supports this pattern, although the record is incomplete and partly masked by the variable denudation rate. We performed structural analyses along the major active or recently reactivated normal faults showing that the extensional direction varies along the Calabrian Arc and laterally switches from arc-normal, within the active portion of the slab, to arc-oblique or even arc-parallel, along the northern and southern slab edges. This surface deformation pattern was compared with a recent high resolution P wave tomographic model showing that the high seismic velocity anomaly is continuous only within the active Wadati-Benioff zone, whereas the northern and southwestern sides are marked by low velocity anomalies, suggesting that large-scale topographic bulges, volcanism, and uplift could have been produced by mantle upwelling. We present numerical simulations to visualize the three-dimensional mantle circulation around a narrow retreating slab, ideally similar to the one presently subducting beneath Calabria. We emphasize that mantle upwelling and surface deformation are expected at the edges of the slab, where return flows may eventually drive decompression melting and the Mount Etna volcanism.
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