The Crati River Basin: geomorphological and stratigraphical data for the Plio–Quaternary evolution of northern Calabria, South Apennines, Italy

Open access

Abstract

In this paper, we present the results of an integrated geomorphological and stratigraphical study carried out in the eastern side of the Crati River valley (northern Calabria, South Italy). This area is characterized by the occurrence of three order palaeosurfaces that, along with low-sloping palaeovalleys and structural landforms, are striking features of the landscape. The relationships between morpho-tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the Crati Basin has been assessed through sandstone detrital modes, morphostratigraphy and geomorphological correlation with adjacent areas. The two main unconformity surfaces that typify the Quaternary fill were correlated to different steps of landscape evolution. The presence of both erosional and depositional palaeosurfaces has been a useful marker for reconstructing sedimentary and morphogenetic events, and hence to detect drainage network evolution and changes in source sediment area. In particular, we recognized that the study area experienced, during the late Pliocene–Early Pleistocene a period of sub-aerial landscape modelling as suggested by low-sloping palaeovalleys and related fluvial deposits (1st Order Palaeosurface). At that time, the source of the detrital constituents of the PPS Unit sandstones was mainly from the Sila Massif. The onset of Coastal Range identification and uplift (Early Pleistocene) marks a change in the geomorphic scenario with tectonic driven stream incision and valley development along the eastern side of Coastal Range, along with the occurrence of depositional and erosional landsurfaces (2nd Order Palaeosurface) at footslopes. During this period, the Coastal Range and Sila Massif were the sources for the detrital constituents of the PlS Unit sandstones. The progressive uplift of Coastal Range during late Early Pleistocene and the marked backstepping of the depositional systems along the Sila footslope was accompanied by alternating phases of down-cutting and base-level stability resulting in the development of a step-like distributed 3rd Order Palaeosurface. The presence of dolostone in detrital modes is clear evidence of stream piracy phenomena of ancient palaeovalleys by the Crati valley-facing drainage network.

Amodio-Morelli L., Bonardi G., Colonna V., Dietrich D., Giunta G., Ippolito F., Liguori V., Lorenzoni S., Paglionico A., Perrone V., Piccarreta G., Russo M., Scandone P., Zanettin-Lorenzoni E. & Zuppetta A. 1976: The Calabria-Peloritani arc within the Apennine-Maghrebide chain. Mem. Soc. Geol. Ital. 17, 1–60.

Argnani A. & Trincardi F. 1993: Growth of a slope ridge and its control on sedimentation: Paola slope basin (eastern Tyrrhenian margin). International Association of Sedimentologists, Special Publication 20, 467–480.

Barone A., Fabbri A., Rossi S. & Sartori R. 1982: Geological structure and evolution of the marine areas adjacent to the Calabrian Arc. Earth Evolution Science 3, 207–221.

Barone M., Dominici R., Muto F. & Critelli S. 2008: Detrital modes in a late Miocene wedge-top basin, northeastern Calabria, Italy: compositional record of wedge-top partitioning. J. Sed. Res. 78, 693–711

Bonardi G., Cavazza W., Perrone V. & Rossi R. 2001: Calabria-Peloritani Terrane and Northern Ionian Sea. In: Vai G.B. & Martini I.P. (Eds.): Anatomy of an Orogen: The Apennines and Adjacent Mediterranean Basins. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London, 287–306.

Butler R.W.H., Mazzoli S., Corrado S., De Donatis M., Di Bucci D., Gambini R., Naso G., Nicolai C., Scrocca D., Shiner P. & Zucconi V. 2004: Applying thick-skinned tectonic model to the Apennine thrust belt of Italy: limitations and implications. In: McClay K.R. (Ed.): Thrust tectonics and hydrocarbon system. A.A.P.G. Memoir 82, 647–667.

Cifelli F., Rossetti F. & Mattei M. 2006: The architecture of brittle postorogenic extension: Results from an integrated structural and paleomagnetic study in north Calabria (southern Italy). Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 119, 1/2, 221–239.

Colella A., De Boer P.L. & Nio S.D. 1987: Sedimentology of a marine intermontane Pleistocene Gilbert-type fan-delta complex in the Crati Basin, Calabria, sothern Italy. Sedimentology 34, 721–736.

Corbi F., Fubelli G., Lucà F., Muto F., Pelle T., Robustelli G., Scarciglia F. & Dramis F. 2009: Vertical movements in the Ionian margin of the Sila Massif (Calabria, Italy). Boll. Soc. Geol. Ital. 128, 731–738.

Critelli S. & Le Pera E. 1994: Detrital modes and provenance of Miocene sandstones and modern sands of the Southern Apennines thrust-top basins (Italy): J. Sed. Res. 64, 824–835.

De Rosa R., Dominici R.& Sonnino M. 2002: Evidences of sin-sedimentary volcanism in the Plio-Pleistocene succession of the Mesima trough (west-central Calabria). Il Quaternario, Ital. J. Quat. Sci. 14, 25–36 (in Italian with English abstract).

Dickinson W.R. 1970: Interpreting detrital modes of greywacke and arkose. J. Sed. Petrol. 40, 695–707.

Fabbricatore D, Robustelli G. & Muto F 2014: Facies analysis and depositional architecture of shelf-type deltas in the Crati Basin (Calabrian Arc, south Italy). Ital. J. Geosci. 133, 131–148.

Fabbri A., Gallignani P. & Zitellini N. 1981: Geologic evolution of the peri-tyrrhenian sedimentary basins. In: Wezel F.C. (Ed.): Sedimentary Basins in Mediterranean Margins. Tecnoprint, Bologna, 101–126.

Fabbricatore D. 2011: Stratigraphy and facies analysis of Quaternary deposits of the Crati river valley. Tesi di Dottorato di Ricerca (PhD. Thesis), Unical, Rende, 1–206 (in Italian).

Filocamo F., Romano P., Di Donato V., Esposito P., Mattei M., Porreca M., Robustelli G.& Russo Ermolli E. 2009: Geomorphology and tectonics of uplifted coasts: New chronostratigraphical constraints for the Quaternary evolution of Tyrrhenian North Calabria (southern Italy). Geomorphology 105, 334–354.

Galli P. & Bosi V. 2003. Catastrophic 1638 earthquakes in Calabria (southern Italy): new insights from palaeoseismological investigation. J. Geophys. Res. 108 (B1), doi:10.1029/2001jb0017132004.

Gazzi P. 1966: Late Cretaceous sandstones of Modena Apennine: relationships with the Monghidoro Flysch. Mineralogica et Petrografica Acta 12, 69–97 (in Italian with English abstract).

Iannace A., Vitale S., D’Errico M., Mazzoli S., Di Staso A., Macaione E., Messina A., Reddy S.M., Somma R., Zamparelli V., Zattin M. & Bonardi G. 2007: The carbonate tectonic units of northern Calabria (Italy): a record of Apulian paleomargin evolution and Miocene convergence, continental crust subduction, and exumation of HP-LT rocks. J. Geol. Soc., London 64, 1165–1186.

Ingersoll R.V., Bullard T.F., Ford R.L., Grimm J.P., Pickle J.D. & Sares S.W. 1984: The effect of grain size on detrital modes: a test of the Gazzi–Dickinson point-counting method. J. Sed. Petrol. 54, 103–116.

Kastens K., Mascle J., Auroux C., Bonatti E., Broglia C., Channell J., Curzi P., Emeis K.C., Glacon G., Hasegawa S., Hieke W., Mascle G., Mccoy F., Mckenzie J., Mendelson J., Muller C., Rehault J.P., Robertson A., Sartori R., Sprovieri R. & Tori M. 1988: ODP Leg 107 in the Tyrrhenian Sea: insights into passive margin and back-arc basin evolution. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 100, 1140–1156.

Knott S.D. & Turco E. 1991: Late Cenozoic kinematics of the Calabrian Arc, southern Italy. Tectonics 10, 1164–1172.

Le Pera E. & Critelli S. 1999: Sourceland controls on the composition of beach and fluvial sand of the northern Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, Italy: implications for actualistic petrofacies. Sed. Geol. 110, 81–97.

Longhitano S.G. 2008: Sedimentary facies and sequence stratigraphy of coarse-grained Gilbert-type deltas within the Pliocene thrust-top Potenza Basin (Southern Apennines, Italy). Sed. Geol. 210, 87–110.

Longhitano S.G., Chiarella D. & Muto F. 2014: Three-dimensional to two dimensional cross-strata transition in the lower Pleistocene Catanzaro tidal strait transgressive succession (southern Italy). Sedimentology 61, 2136–2171.

Milia A., Turco E., Pierantoni P.P. & Schettino A. 2009: Four-dimensional tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the Southeastern peri-Tyrrhenian Basins (Margin of Calabria, Italy). Tectonophysics 476, 41–56.

Molin P., Pazzaglia F.J. & Dramis F. 2004: Geomorphic expression of active tectonics in a rapidly-deforming forearc, Sila Massif, Calabria, southern Italy. Am. J. Sci. 304, 559–589.

Monaco C.& Tortorici L. 2000: Active faulting in the Calabrian Arc and eastern Sicily. J. Geodyn. 29, 407–424.

Muto F. 2006: Neogene Quaternary geological evolution of north-western Calabria. Tesi di Dottorato (PhD thesis), Università della Calabria, 1–121 (in Italian).

Muto F., Critelli S., Robustelli G., Tripodi V., Zecchin M., Fabbricatore D. & Perri F. 2015: A Neogene-Quaternary Geotraverse within the northern Calabrian Arc from the foreland peri-Ionian margin to the back-arc Tyrrhenian margin. Periodico semestrale del Servizio Geologico d'Italia - ISPRA e della Società Geologica Italiana, Geological Field Trips, 7, n.2.2., 1–65.

Olivetti V., Cyr A.J., Molin P., Faccenna C. & Granger D. 2012: Uplift history of the Sila Massif, southern Italy, deciphered from cosmogenic 10Be erosion rates and river longitudinal profile analysis. Tectonics 31, doi:10.1029/2011TC003037.

Patacca E. & Scandone P. 1989: Post-Tortonian mountain building in the Apennines. The role of the passive sinking of a relic lithospheric slab. In: Boriani A, Bonafede M., Piccardo G.B., Vai G.B (Eds.): The lithosphere in Italy. Advances in Earth Science Research. t.Nat.Comm.Int.Lith.Progr., Mid-term Conf. (Rome, 5-6 May 1987), Atti Conv. Lincei 80, 157–176.

Patacca E. & Scandone P. 2001: Late thrust propagation and sedimentary response in the thrust belt-foredeep system of the Southern Apennines (Pliocene-Pleistocene). In: Vai G.B., Martini I.P. (Eds): Anatomy of an Orogen: The Apennines and Adjacent Mediterranean Basins, Kluwer Academic Publication, 401–440.

Pepe, F., Sulli, A., Bertotti, G. & Cella F., 2010. Architecture and Neogene to Recent evolution of the western Calabrian continentalmargin: an upper plate perspective to the Ionian subduction system, central Mediterranean. Tectonics 29, TC3007.

Robustelli G., Muto F., Scarciglia F., Spina V.& Critelli S. 2005: Eustatic and tectonic control on Late Quaternary alluvial fans along the Tyrrhenian Sea coast of Calabria (South Italy). Quat. Sci. Rev. 24, 2101–2119.

Robustelli G., Lucà F., Corbi F., Pelle T., Dramis F., Fubelli G., Scarciglia F., Muto F. & Cugliari G. 2009: Alluvial terraces on the Ionian coast of northern Calabria, southern Italy: implications for tectonic and sea level controls. Geomorphology 106, 165–179.

Robustelli G, Russo Ermolli E, Petrosino P, Jicha B, Sardella R. & Donato P. 2014: Tectonic and climatic control on geomorphological and sedimentary evolution of the Mercure basin, southern Apennines, Italy. Geomorphology 214, 423–425

Schiattarella M. 1998: Quaternary tectonics of the Pollino Ridge, Calabria-Lucania boundary, southern Italy. In: Holdsworth R.E., Strachan R:A. & Dewey J.F. (Eds): Continental Transpressional and Transtensional Tectonics. Geol. Soc., London, Spec. Publ. 135, 341–354.

Spina V., Tondi E., Galli P. & Mazzoli S. 2009: Fault propagation in a seismic gap area 18 (northern Calabria, Italy): Implication for seismic hazard. Tectonophysics 476, 357–369.

Spina V., Tondi E. & Mazzoli S. 2011: Complex basin development in a wrench-dominated back-arc area:Tectonic evolution of the Crati Basin, Calabria, Italy. J. Geodyn. 51, 90–109.

Tansi C., Tallarico A., Iovine G., Folino Gallo M. & Falcone G. 2005: Interpretation of radon anomalies in seismotectonic and tectonic–gravitational settings: the southeastern Crati graben (Northern Calabria, Italy). Tectonophysics 396, 3–4, 181–193.

Tansi C., Muto F., Critelli S. & Iovine G. 2007: Neogene–Quaternary strike–slip tectonics in the central Calabrian Arc (southern Italy). J. Geodyn. 43, 393–414.

Tortorici L. 1981: Analysis of brittle tectonics of post-orogenic sediments of northern Calabria. Boll. Soc. Geol. Ital. 100, 291-308 (in Italian with English abstract).

Tortorici L., Monaco C., Tansi C. & Cocina O. 1995: Recent and active tectonics in the Calabrian Arc (southern Italy). Tectonophysics 243, 37–55.

Tripodi V., Muto F. & Critelli S. 2013: Structural style and tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the Neogene–Quaternary Siderno Basin, southern Calabrian Arc, Italy. International Geology Review, doi:10.1080/00206814.2012.723859.

Turco E., Maresca R. & Cappadona P. 1990: Plio–Pleistocene tectonics of Calabria-Lucania boundary (cinematic model). Mem. Soc. Geol. Ital. 45, 519-529 (in Italian with English abstract).

Van Dijk J.P., Bello M. & Brancaleoni G.P. 2000: A regional structural model for the northern sector of the Calabrian Arc (southern Italy). Tectonophysics 324, 267–320.

Westaway R. 1993: Quaternary uplift of southern Italy. J. Geophys. Res. 98, 21741–21772.

Wortel M.J.R. & Spackman W. 1993: The dynamic evolution of the Apenninic-Calabrian, Hellenic and Carpathian arcs: a unifying approach. Terra Nova Abstract 5, 97.

Young J. & Colella A. 1988: Calcarenous nannofossils from the Crati Basin. In: Colella A. (Ed.): Fan Deltas-Excursion Guidebook. Università della Calabria, Cosenza, 79–96.

Zecchin M., Praeg D., Ceramicola S. & Muto F. 2015: Onshore to offshore correlation of regional unconformities in the Plio–Pleistocene sedimentary successions of the Calabrian Arc (central Mediterranean). Earth-Sci. Rev. 142, 60–78.

Zuffa G.G. 1985: Optical analyses of arenites: influence of methodology on compositional results. In: Zuffa G.G. (Ed.): Provenance of Arenites. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, Nato Advanced Study Institute Series, Reidel 148, 165–189.

Geologica Carpathica

The Journal of Geological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences

Journal Information


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.169
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.431

CiteScore 2017: 1.26

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.551
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.836

Cited By

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 242 240 11
PDF Downloads 109 108 7