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Bridging onshore and offshore present-day kinematics of central and eastern Méditerranean: Implications for crustal dynamics and mantle flow

Abstract : We present a new kinematic and strain model of an area encompassing the Calabrian and Hellenic subduction zones, western Anatolia and the Balkans. Using Haines and Holt's (1993) method, we derive continuous velocity and strain rate fields by interpolating geodetic velocities, including recent GPS data in the Balkans. Relative motion between stable Eurasia and the western Aegean Sea is gradually accommodated by distributed N-S extension from Southern Balkans to the Eastern Corinth Gulf, so that the westward propagation of the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) throughout continental Greece or Peloponnesus is not required. We thus propose that the NAF terminates in north Aegean and that N-S extension localized in the Corinth Gulf and distributed in Southern Balkans is due to the retreat of the Hellenic slab. The motion of the Hyblean plateau, Apulia Peninsula, south Adriatic Sea, Ionian Basin and Sirte plain can be minimized by a single rigid rotation around a pole located in the Sirte plain, compatible with the opening the Pelagian rifts (2–2.5 mm/yr) and seismotectonics in Libya. We interpret the trenchward ultraslow motion of the Calabrian arc (2–2.5 mm/yr) as pure collapse, the Calabrian subduction being now inactive. In the absolute plate motion reference frame, our modeled velocity field depicts two toroïdal crustal patterns located at both ends of the Hellenic subduction zone, clockwise in NW Greece and counter-clockwise in western Anatolia. We suggest the NW Greece toroïdal pattern is the surface expression of a slab tear and consequent toroïdal asthenospheric flow.
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Eugénie Pérouse, Nicolas Chamot-Rooke, Alain Rabaute, Pierre Briole, François Jouanne, et al.. Bridging onshore and offshore present-day kinematics of central and eastern Méditerranean: Implications for crustal dynamics and mantle flow. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, AGU and the Geochemical Society, 2012, 13 (9), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1029/2012GC004289⟩. ⟨hal-01438195⟩

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