The Straits of Messina and its surroundings are considered as one of the most tectonically active area of the Mediterranean, but in spite of their hazard potential, modern geophysical data aimed at investigating their hidden structures are lacking. In order to bridge this gap, we carried out a marine multichannel seismic survey primarily aimed at: i) studying the regional fault pattern in the area of the Messina 1908 earthquake; and ii) checking the existence of a potentially seismogenic fault, the Taormina Fault, which many authors locate offshore, along the coast between Taormina and Messina. Our seismic profiles show a great structural complexity within the Messina Straits, with the best imaged faults occurring on the Calabrian side. In particular, a more than 30 km long NW-trending fault located at the SW tip of Calabria is cutting the sea floor. Moreover, our data did not image any extensional fault plane attributable to the Taormina Fault; rather, the whole slope has been tilted east-ward. The geodynamic implication is that extension in south-eastern Sicily, on the Ionian side of the Hyblean Plateau, and extension in southern Calabria and Messina Straits belong to two different tectonic systems and cannot be mechanically linked.

The results of the Taormina 2006 seismic survey: Possible implications for active tectonics in the Messina Straits

ACCAINO F;ZGUR F;LODOLO E
2009

Abstract

The Straits of Messina and its surroundings are considered as one of the most tectonically active area of the Mediterranean, but in spite of their hazard potential, modern geophysical data aimed at investigating their hidden structures are lacking. In order to bridge this gap, we carried out a marine multichannel seismic survey primarily aimed at: i) studying the regional fault pattern in the area of the Messina 1908 earthquake; and ii) checking the existence of a potentially seismogenic fault, the Taormina Fault, which many authors locate offshore, along the coast between Taormina and Messina. Our seismic profiles show a great structural complexity within the Messina Straits, with the best imaged faults occurring on the Calabrian side. In particular, a more than 30 km long NW-trending fault located at the SW tip of Calabria is cutting the sea floor. Moreover, our data did not image any extensional fault plane attributable to the Taormina Fault; rather, the whole slope has been tilted east-ward. The geodynamic implication is that extension in south-eastern Sicily, on the Ionian side of the Hyblean Plateau, and extension in southern Calabria and Messina Straits belong to two different tectonic systems and cannot be mechanically linked.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/2405
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