Western Alpine back-thrusting as subsidence mechanism in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (Western Po Plain, NW Italy)

B. Carrapa, D. Garcia-Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Basin formation dynamics of the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (TPB) are here investigated by means of cross-section numerical modelling. Previous works hypothesised that basin subsidence occurred due first to extension (Oligocene) and then to subsequent loading due to back-thrusting (Miocene). However, structural evidence shows that the TPB was mainly under contraction from Oligocene until post Pliocene time while extension played a minor role. Furthermore, thermal indicators strongly call for a cold (flexure-induced) mechanism but are strictly inconsistent with a hot (thermally induced) mechanism. Our new modelling shows that the TPB stratigraphic features can be reproduced by flexure of a visco-elastic plate loaded by back-thrusts active in the Western Alps in Oligo-Miocene times. Far-field compression contributed to the TPB subsidence and controlled the basin infill geometry by enhancing basin tilting, forebulge uplift and erosion of the southern margin of the basin. These results suggest that the TPB subsidence is the result of a combination of mechanisms including thrust loading and far-field compressional stresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-212
Number of pages16
JournalTectonophysics
Volume406
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 9 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Numerical modelling
  • Sedimentary basins
  • Subsidence
  • Western Alps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Western Alpine back-thrusting as subsidence mechanism in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (Western Po Plain, NW Italy)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this