DOI: 10.1111/bre.12819 ISSN:

Identification and differentiation of vertical movement through morphological changes and stratigraphic imprint: Two distinct uplifting mechanisms in the upper Calabrian accretionary wedge, western Ionian Sea

Bruna T. Pandolpho, Morelia Urlaub, Christian Berndt, Jörg Bialas
  • Geology


The seafloor morphology reflects both past and on‐going sedimentary, oceanographic and tectonic processes. Vertical movement is one of the drivers responsible for reshaping the seafloor through forming steep flanks that decrease slope stability, favour landslides, change current paths, form minibasins and control the sediment deposition, distribution and geometry. Here, we make use of these interactions to derive vertical movements and constrain the active tectonic processes at the western termination of the upper Calabrian accretionary wedge from the integrated analysis of bathymetric, backscatter, surface attributes and high‐resolution reflection seismic data. Within this area, we identify two types of deformational features and mechanisms that affect the depositional, erosional and tectonic processes at different scales. These include the deviation of channels, landslide scars, mass transport deposits (MTDs), separated drifts, sediment waves, lineaments and offset seafloor structures. The first type (long‐wavelength uplift) is an uplifted 22‐km‐wide region, in which seismic onlap relationships and the dip of deep reflectors suggest long‐lasting but slow tectonic uplift affecting sedimentation, and the second type (short‐wavelength uplift) includes three narrow elongated structures and one circular dome encircling the first region of uplift. We interpret that the first type of uplift feature was caused by tectonic deformation, while the second type is interpreted as formed by the fast uplift, tilting and faulting of modern sediments caused by diapirism due to rapid sedimentation in response to the first tectonically driven uplift. The study provides insight into the complex interaction of tectonic and sedimentary processes in the upper Calabrian accretionary wedge.

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