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The presence of a set of well-known turbidite successions, deposited in progressively E-migrating foredeep basins and subsequently piled up with east vergence, makes the Northern Apennines of Italy paradigmatic of the evolution of deepwater fold-and-thrust belts. This study focuses on the early Apenninic collisional stage, early Miocene in age, which led to the accretion of the turbidites of the Trasimeno Tectonic Wedge (TTW), in the central part of the Northern Apennines. Based on the interpretation of previously unpublished seismic reflection profiles with new surface geology data and tectonic balancing, we present a detailed tectonic reconstruction of the TTW. In the study area, the TTW is characterized by a W-dipping shaly basal décollement located at a depth of 1–5 km. The tectonic wedge is c. 5 km thick at its central-western part and tapers progressively eastwards to c. 1 km. The total shortening, balanced along a 33 km long cross-section, is c. 60 km, including 20 km (40%) of internal imbrication, c. 23 km of horizontal ENE-wards translation along the basal décollement and c. 17 km of passive translation caused by the later shortening of footwall units. Deformation balancing, constrained through upper Aquitanian – upper Burdigalian (c. 21–16 Ma) biostratigraphy, provides an average shortening rate of c. 8.6 mm a–1. Internal shortening of the TTW shows an average shortening rate of c. 4 mm a–1 for this period.
The historical site of the Monte Mario lower Pleistocene succession (Rome, Italy) is an important marker of the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Recently, the Monte Mario site was excavated and restudied. A spectacular angular unconformity characterizes the contact between the Monte Vaticano and the Monte Mario formations, which marks the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Biostratigraphical analyses carried out on ostracod, foraminifer, and calcareous nannofossil assemblages indicate an Early Pliocene age (topmost Zanclean, 3.81–3.70 Ma) for the underlying Monte Vaticano Formation, whereas the Monte Mario Formation has been dated as early Pleistocene (Santernian, 1.66–1.59 Ma). Palaeomagnetic analyses point to C2Ar and C1r2r polarity chrons for the Monte Vaticano and the Monte Mario formations, respectively. The Monte Mario Formation consists of two obliquity-forced depositional sequences (MM1 and MM2) characterized by transgressive systems tracts of littoral marine environments at depths, respectively, of 40–80 m and 15–20 m. The data obtained from foraminifer and ostracod assemblages allow us to reconstruct early Pleistocene relative sea-level changes near Rome. At the Plio/Pleistocene transition, a relative sea-level drop of at least 260 m occurred, as a result of both tectonic uplift of the central Tyrrhenian margin and glacio-eustatic changes linked to early Pleistocene glaciation (Marine Isotope Stage 58).
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