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Lithospheric-scale 3D model of Sicily domain based on gravity analysis

Sicily is a part of the central-Western Mediterranean area and represents a geotectonic boundary between the African and European plates. It is the result of a complex geological process based on a polyphasic evolution of a compressional step beginning with the Oligocene-Miocene clockwise rotation of Corsica-Sardinia simultaneously with the extensional processes of the Tyrrhenian basin. Consequently, the area is constrained by the continuing partial advance of the Sicilian-Maghrebian chain southwards and the Tyrrhenian extensional area towards the internal foreland areas (Hyblean domain). The study focuses on the creation of a 3D lithospheric-scale model of a 300 km x 400 km extended area in the central Mediterranean domain (Lat38°, Lat35°), which is consistent with the available geological and geophysical data, as well as with the observed gravity field. The reconstructed (simplified) geological setting consists of a lithospheric mantle, a crystalline basement (continental and oceanic crust), carbonates, the European margin and the Neogene-quaternary cover including volcanic bodies. The work aims to investigate the geometry of lithosphere integrating tomographic models in order to assess the major density contrasts and the lithospheric thermo-mechanical state. The regional 3D model provides also the boundary conditions for local thermal models to investigate afterwards.


Giovanni Floridia1, Denis Anikiev2, Marco Viccaro1,3
1Università di Catania, Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche Geologiche e Ambientali, Catania, Italy; 2GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany; 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia – Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo, Catania, Italy
GeoKarlsruhe 2021