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The rotation of Italy: Preliminary palaeomagnetic data from the Umbrian sequence, Northern Apennines

By C.T. Klootwijk and J. van den Berg


A preliminary collection of 43 palaeomagnetic samples (10 sites) from the miogeosynclinal and supposedly autochthonous Umbrian sequence in the Northern Apennines, Italy, was analysed by means of alternating magnetic fields and thermal demagnetization studies. The older group of samples, taken from the upper part of the Calcari Diasprini (Malm), the Fucoid Marls (Albian/Cenomanian) and from the basal part of the Scaglia Bianca (Early Late Cretaceous), all showed normal polarity directions and resulted in a mean site direction: D = 290.5°, I = +51.5°, α95 = 11°, k = 74, N = 4.\ud \ud The younger group of samples, taken throughout the Scaglia Rossa sequence (Latest Cretaceous/Middle Eocene) showed normal and reversed polarity directions. In contrast to the older group, the magnetic analysis of these samples resulted in a considerably less dense grouping of site mean directions. This presumably is due to inaccuracies introduced with the very large bedding tilt corrections that had to be applied to the samples of some sites. A tentative mean site direction for these Scaglia Rossa samples was computed as: D = 351°, I = +52.5°, α95 = 23.5°, k = 11.5, N = 5.\ud \ud Despite the low precision of the Scaglia Rossa result, the significant deviation between this Latest Cretaceous/Early Tertiary direction and the Late Jurassic/Early Late Cretaceous direction indicates a counterclockwise rotation of more than forty degrees. This rotation can be dated as Late Cretaceous.\ud \ud How far these data from the Northern Apennines apply to other parts of the Italian Peninsula has yet to be established. The timing of this rotation is not at variance with the data from other parts of Mediterranean Europe (Southern Alps, Iberian Peninsula) and from Africa. However, taking into account the preliminary nature of the results, the amount of rotation of the Northern Apennines seems to surpass the rotation angle which is deduced from the palaeomagnetic data for Africa

Topics: Aardwetenschappen
Year: 1975
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