The Dinaric fault system: Large-scale structure, rates of slip, and Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the transpressive northeastern boundary of the Adria microplate

Abstract : Located at the northeastern corner of the Adria microplate, the Alps-Dinarides junction represents a key region for understanding how the Adria microplate interacts with stable Europe. However, little is known on how the present-day deformation imposed by the rotation of the Adria microplate is absorbed across the Dinarides. Using morphotectonic analysis based on satellite and aerial images, accurate topographical maps, and digital elevation models combined with field investigations, we mapped in detail the three main active faults of the Northern Dinarides. Geomorphic and geological cumulative displacements ranging from a few meters to several kilometers have been identified on those faults and dated for the most recent ones using 36 Cl exposure dating. Those results yielded a total right-lateral motion of 3.8 ± 0.7 mm/yr oriented N317. Comparing our results with the motion expected from Adria rotation models suggests that the Northern Dinarides absorbs most of the predicted Adria-Eurasia motion, thus representing the eastern boundary of the microplate. However, a significant E-W component is lacking, suggesting that part of the stress imposed by the microplate rotation is transferred farther to the east. Finally, bounds placed on the Plio-Pleistocene kinematics confirm that faulting onset occurred during the Early Pliocene and evidence a significant kinematic change at the Early/Middle Pleistocene boundary.
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Adrien Moulin, Lucilla Benedetti, Magali Rizza, Petra Rupnik, Andrej Gosar, et al.. The Dinaric fault system: Large-scale structure, rates of slip, and Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the transpressive northeastern boundary of the Adria microplate. Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2016, 35, pp.2258 - 2292. ⟨10.1002/2016TC004188⟩. ⟨hal-01420780⟩

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