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Late Tortonian–Quaternary tectonic evolution of central Sicily: the major role of the strike-slip deformation


We here propose a new kinematic picture of central Sicily based on the results of detailed field mapping of the region, combined with structural analyses and the interpretation of the available literature subsurface data. Our study focused on the tectonic boundary of a structural depression, the Caltanissetta Trough, which is now filled with allochthonous terrains resting on the deep-seated inverted African palaeomargin units. Our data refer to the tectonosedimentary evolution of the thrust-top basins, from Late Tortonian to Quaternary times. The study points out the occurrence of regional E–W-oriented dextral shear zones, cutting the NE-oriented trends of the thrust belt. This new evidence would confirm the major role of the E–W trend in the tectonic inversion of the external portions of the Africa palaeomargin in Sicily. Our results could contribute to a better understanding of the location in Sicily of the tectonic lineaments accommodating the hundreds of kilometres of lateral displacement, caused by the Late Miocene–Quaternary Tyrrhenian Basin opening to the north of the island.

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