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Authors: Di Bucci, D.* 
Caputo, R.* 
Mastronuzzi, G.* 
Fracassi, U.* 
Selleri, G.* 
Sansò, P.* 
Title: Quantitative analysis of extensional joints in the southern Adriatic foreland (Italy), and the active tectonics of the Apulia region
Journal: Journal of geodynamics 
Series/Report no.: /51(2011)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: Mar-2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.jog.2010.01.012
Keywords: Quaternary tectonics
Brittle deformation
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
Abstract: The Adriatic foreland of the Apennines comes ashore only in Apulia (easternmost Italy). Its southern part, our study area, lacks any structural analysis devoted to define its recent-to-active tectonics. Throughout the Quaternary, this region was affected by mild brittle deformation with rare faults, characterized by small displacement, and widespread extension joints, frequently organized in sets. Therefore, we conducted a quantitative and systematic analysis of the joint sets affecting Quaternary deposits, by applying an inversion technique ad hoc to infer the orientation and ratio of the principal stress axes, R = (σ2 − σ3)/(σ1 − σ3). Within a general extensional regime, we recognized three deformational events of regional significance. The oldest event, constrained to the early and middle part of the Middle Pleistocene, is characterized by variable direction of extension and R between 0.64 and 0.99. The penultimate event, dated late Middle Pleistocene, is characterized by an almost uniaxial tension, with a horizontal σ3 striking ∼N43°E; R is high, between 0.85 and 0.99. The most recent event is characterized by the lowermost R values, that never exceed 0.47 and are frequently <0.30, indicating a sort of horizontal ‘radial’ extension. This event is not older than the Late Pleistocene and possibly reflects the active stress field still dominating the entire study area.
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