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Plio-Quaternary tectonic changes along the Hellenic Arc (Greece) induced by a propagating plate boundary


IPGP - Îlot Cuvier


Soutenances de thèses

Salle 310

Gino de Gelder

Tectonique et mécanique de la lithosphère (TECTO)

The Hellenic subduction zone is the fastest converging plate boundary of the Mediterranean, and the Corinth Rift is its fastest extending region. In this thesis I investigate when, how, and why vertical tectonic movements of the Hellenic forearc have evolved since the propagation of the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) into the Aegean domain (~5 Ma). Pleiades-based Digital Surface Models (DSMs) of 2m-resolution in 3 key areas (Corinth, Kythira, E-Crete) provided the basis for tectonic, geomorphic and structural basin analysis, which I used in combination with biostratigraphic and cosmogenic nuclide dating and numerical modelling. I find that both Kythira and eastern Crete record a similar vertical motion history, with Tortonian-Pliocene sedimentary basins bounded by trench-parallel normal faults evidencing minor, probably local subsidence during that period. E-W extension became the dominant mode of deformation in the forearc high since ~1.5-0.7 Ma, associated with uplift of several hundreds of meters, and possibly accompanied by N-S shortening south of Crete. The timing of these changes is remarkably similar to the onset of rifting in Corinth, and lends support to Anatolian-Aegean tectonic models that propose rapidly changing boundary conditions along the Hellenic Arc in response to NAF propagation, and a continental lithosphere that behaves largely elastic. Keywords: tectonic uplift, active faults, Hellenic Arc, Corinth Rift, marine terraces, sedimentary basins