Geodynamics of oroclinal bending: insights from the Mediterranean

Rosenbaum, Gideon (2014) Geodynamics of oroclinal bending: insights from the Mediterranean. Journal of Geodynamics, 82 5-15. doi:10.1016/j.jog.2014.05.002

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Author Rosenbaum, Gideon
Title Geodynamics of oroclinal bending: insights from the Mediterranean
Journal name Journal of Geodynamics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0264-3707
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jog.2014.05.002
Open Access Status
Volume 82
Start page 5
End page 15
Total pages 11
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 1908 Geophysics
1904 Earth-Surface Processes
Abstract The Alpine Orogen in the Mediterranean region exhibits a series of orogenic curvatures (oroclines). The evolution of these oroclines is relatively well constrained by a plethora of geophysical and geological data, and therefore, their origin can inform us on the fundamental processes controlling oroclinal bending. Here, a synthesis of the geometry of Mediterranean oroclines, followed by a discussion on their geodynamic origin is presented. The geometrical synthesis is based on a new classification of Mediterranean oroclines, which defines a first-order orocline (Adriatic Orocline) by the general northward-convex shape of the Alpine Orogen from Cyprus to Gibraltar. Superimposed on the limbs of this orocline, are second-, third- and fourth-order oroclines. The major process that led to the formation of the Adriatic Orocline is the indentation of Adria into Europe, whereas second- and third-order oroclines (e.g., Western Mediterranean and Gibraltar oroclines, respectively) were primarily controlled by a combination of trench retreat and slab tearing. It appears, therefore, that the geodynamics of Mediterranean oroclines has been entirely dependent on plate boundary migration and segmentation, as expressed in the interlinked processes of indentation, trench retreat and slab tearing. The relative contribution of specific geodynamic processes, and their maturity, could be inferred from geometrical characteristics, such as the amplitude-to-width ratio, the orientation of the curvature (convex or concave) relative to the convergence vector, and their geometrical relationship with backarc extensional basins (e.g., in the concave side of the orocline). Based on the information from the Mediterranean oroclines, it is concluded that oroclinal bending commonly involves lithospheric-scale processes, and is not restricted to thin-skinned deformation. However, contrary to previous suggestions that assume that the whole lithosphere can buckle, there is no clear evidence that such processes occur in modern tectonic environments.
Keyword Alpine Orogen
Slab tear
Trench retreat
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0986762
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 24 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 26 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 28 May 2014, 01:19:30 EST by Dr Gideon Rosenbaum on behalf of School of Earth Sciences