Salt morphologies and crustal segmentation relationship: New insights from the Western Mediterranean Sea

Type Article
Date 2021-11
Language English
Author(s) Bellucci Massimo1, 2, 3, Aslanian DanielORCID1, Moulin MarylineORCID1, Rabineau MarinaORCID2, Leroux EstelleORCID1, Pellen Romain1, Poort Jeffrey4, Del Ben Anna3, Gorini Christian4, Camerlenghi Angelo5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, Department of Marine Geosciences, BP 70, 29280, Plouzané, France
2 : IUEM, Laboratoire Geosciences Océan, CNRS, 29280, Plouzané, France
3 : Department of Mathematics and Geosciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
4 : Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Institut des Sciences de la Terre de Paris, ISTeP, Paris, France
5 : National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics OGS, Trieste, Italy
Source Earth-science Reviews (0012-8252) (Elsevier BV), 2021-11 , Vol. 222 , P. 103818 (21p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103818
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) Salt tectonics, Passive margin, Western Mediterranean Sea, Heat flow, Messinian Salinity Crisis

Salt tectonics at salt-bearing margins is often interpreted as the combination of gravity spreading and gravity gliding, mainly driven by differential sedimentary loading and margin tilting, respectively. Nevertheless, in the Western Mediterranean Sea, the classical salt-tectonic models are incoherent with its morpho-structural setting: Messinian salt was deposited in a closed system formed several Ma before the deposition, horizontally throughout the entire deep basin, above a homogenous multi-kilometer pre-Messinian thickness. The subsidence is purely vertical in the deep basin, implying a regional constant initial salt thickness. The post-salt overburden is homogenous and the distal salt deformation occurred before the mid-lower slope normal-fault activation. Instead, the compilation of MCS and wide-angle seismic data highlighted a clear coincidence between crustal segmentation and salt morphology domains. The salt structures change morphology at the boundary between different crustal natures. Regional thermal anomalies and/or fluid escapes, associated with the exhumation phase, or mantle-heat segmentation, could therefore play a role in adding a further component to the already known salt-tectonics mechanisms. The compilation of crustal segmentation and salt morphologies in different salt-bearing margins, such as the Santos, Angolan, Gulf of Mexico and Morocco-Nova Scotia margins, seems to depict the same coincidence. In view of the evidences observed in the Western Mediterranean Sea, the influence of the temperature parameter on salt deformation should not be overlooked and warrants further investigation.

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Bellucci Massimo, Aslanian Daniel, Moulin Maryline, Rabineau Marina, Leroux Estelle, Pellen Romain, Poort Jeffrey, Del Ben Anna, Gorini Christian, Camerlenghi Angelo (2021). Salt morphologies and crustal segmentation relationship: New insights from the Western Mediterranean Sea. Earth-science Reviews, 222, 103818 (21p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :