Zhang, W., Jiménez-Munt, I., Torne, M., Vergés, J., Bravo-Gutiérrez, E., Negredo, A. M., & García-Castellanos, D. (2024). The Lithosphere and Upper Mantle of the Western-Central Mediterranean Region From Integrated Geophysical-Geochemical Modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 129(4), e2023JB028435. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JB028435


This study integrates geophysical-geochemical data to investigate the thermochemical structure of the lithosphere and sublithospheric mantle, along the Southern Tyrrhenian Basin, Apennines, Adriatic Sea, Dinarides, and Carpathians-Balkanides. We present the lithospheric structure of the Adria microplate and the two opposing mantle slabs along its NE and SW margins. The modeling shows the presence of two asthenospheric mantle wedges aligning with the Apenninic and Dinaric continental mantle slab rollback, along with cold (−200°C) sublithospheric anomalies beneath Adria's NE and SW margins. In the northern Adria region, the lithosphere undergoes synchronous thinning in the Tyrrhenian domain and thickening toward the forefront of the northern Apennines. This is associated with the northeastward rollback of the SW Adriatic slab, leading to subsequent delamination of the continental mantle. In the southern Adria region, the complex deep structure results from the variably oriented lithospheric slabs, and nearly 90-degree shift of the tectonic grain between the southern Apennines and the Calabrian Arc. At the SW Adria margin, beneath the northern Apennines, the thermal sublithospheric anomaly is attached to the shallower lithosphere, while a slab gap is modeled in the southern Apennines. One possibility is that the gap is due to a recent horizontal slab tear. Along the NE margin of Adria, the thermal anomaly penetrates to depths of about 200 km in the northern Dinarides and 280 km in the southern Dinarides, shallower than the SW Adria anomaly, which extends to at least 400 km depth.

Original article

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