Crustal Structure of the Ionian Basin and Eastern Sicily Margin: Results From a Wide-Angle Seismic Survey

Dellong, David, Klingelhoefer, Frauke, Kopp, Heidrun, Graindorge, David, Margheriti, Lucia, Moretti, Milena, Murphy, Shane and Gutscher, Marc-Andre (2018) Crustal Structure of the Ionian Basin and Eastern Sicily Margin: Results From a Wide-Angle Seismic Survey Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 123 (3). pp. 2090-2114. DOI 10.1002/2017JB015312.

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In the Ionian Sea (central Mediterranean) the slow convergence between Africa and Eurasia results in the formation of a narrow subduction zone. The nature of the crust of the subducting plate remains debated and could represent the last remnants of the Neo‐Tethys ocean. The origin of the Ionian basin is also under discussion, especially concerning the rifting mechanisms as the Malta Escarpment could represent a remnant of this opening. This subduction retreats toward the south‐east (motion occurring since the last 35 Ma) but is confined to the narrow Ionian basin. A major lateral slab tear fault is required to accommodate the slab roll‐back. This fault is thought to propagate along the eastern Sicily margin but its precise location remains controversial. This study focuses on the deep crustal structure of the eastern Sicily margin and the Malta Escarpment. We present two two‐dimensional P wave velocity models obtained from forward modeling of wide‐angle seismic data acquired onboard the R/V Meteor during the DIONYSUS cruise in 2014. The results image an oceanic crust within the Ionian basin as well as the deep structure of the Malta Escarpment, which presents characteristics of a transform margin. A deep and asymmetrical sedimentary basin is imaged south of the Messina strait and seems to have opened between the Calabrian and Peloritan continental terranes. The interpretation of the velocity models suggests that the tear fault is located east of the Malta Escarpment, along the Alfeo fault system.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Ionian basin, crustal structure, wide‐angle seismic, geodynamic, Mediterranean, Malta Escarpment
Research affiliation: IFREMER
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2017JB015312
ISSN: 0148-0227
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 12:44
Last Modified: 03 May 2018 12:44

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