Geology of the Ionian Basin and margins: a key to the East Mediterranean geodynamics

Type Article
Date 2019-08
Language English
Author(s) Tugend J.1, Chamot‐rooke N.1, Arsenikos S.1, Blanpied C.2, Lamotte D. Frizon3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire de Géologie, CNRS UMR 8538, Ecole normale supérieure, PSL Research University Paris,France
2 : Sorbonne Université, CNRS‐INSU, Institut des Sciences de la Terre Paris, ISTeP UMR 7193 Paris ,France
3 : Département Géosciences et EnvironnementUniversité Cergy‐Pontoise Cergy‐Pontoise Cedex, France
Source Tectonics (0278-7407) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2019-08 , Vol. 38 , N. 8 , P. 2668-2702
DOI 10.1029/2018TC005472
WOS© Times Cited 26
Keyword(s) Ionian Basin, East Mediterranean Basins, short-lived oceanic basin, Neo-Tethys, Central Atlantic

We revisit the nature, structure and evolution of the Ionian Basin and its surrounding passive margins (Apulia, Eastern Sicily/Malta, and Cyrenaica margins). Relying on geological observations (wells, dredges and dives) and seismic calibrations from the surrounding platforms and escarpments, we present age correlations for the deepest sedimentary sequences of the Ionian Basin. Two‐ship deep refraction seismic data combined with reprocessed reflection seismic data enable us to identify, characterize and map these thick sedimentary sequences and to present a consistent seismic stratigraphy across the basin. At a larger scale, we present new geological transects illustrating the tectono‐stratigraphic relationships between the Ionian Basin and its surrounding rifted margins.

On this basis, we suggest that a Late Triassic‐Early Jurassic rifting preceded the late Early Jurassic to Middle Jurassic formation of the Ionian Basin. The combination of geophysical and geological arguments suggests that the entire deep basin is floored with oceanic crust of normal thickness, but with high seismic velocity in the upper part. Upscaling our results in the framework of the Eastern Mediterranean, we propose that the Ionian Basin represents the remnant of a short‐lived oceanic basin resulting from the interaction between two propagating oceans: the Central Atlantic and the Neo‐Tethys.

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