The next seminar of the Geoscience Seminar Series will be held on 8 June from 13:00 to 14:00 in Room 401, Mathematics and Physics Building (MP401), University of Malta, Msida Campus.
The seminar is entitled 'Active tectonics of the East Sicily margin and Calabria subduction: results of recent marine geophysical cruises and upcoming studies' and will be delivered by Marc-André Gutscher from the Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Laboratoire Domaines Océaniques, Univ. Brest/CNRS, Plouzané, France.
Southern Italy forms part of the Eurasia - Africa plate boundary in the Central Mediterranean and has been struck by numerous deadly historical earthquakes. However, the location of the seismogenic faults and indeed the activity of the Calabrian subduction zone itself remain uncertain and the object of scientific debate. During the past decade, several new studies and marine surveys have mapped the offshore Ionian Sea domain and allow us to better identify the major active structures. This presentation will discuss recent advances in our understanding of the tectonics and geodynamics of the Calabria - East Sicily - Malta Escarpment region addressing the crustal structure (from past and recent seismic surveys) and in particular a new (unpublished) compilation of multi-beam bathymetry (at a 60m grid spacing). This mapping reveals in unprecedented detail the following features on the seafloor: the deeply incised Malta-Hyblean Escarpment, numerous submarine canyons, broad regions of relatively flat seafloor dominated by fields of sediment waves, the gently undulating anticlinal fold-and-thrust belts of two accretionary wedge complexes related to the Hellenic subduction (W Mediterranean ridge) and to the Calabrian arc. These accretionary wedges intersect and overlap and define two of the three sides of the triangular Ionian abyssal plain. The internal structure of these morpho-tectonic provinces as well as the transition zones between them is also imaged by high-resolution 72-channel seismic reflection profiles. An upcoming (Aug/Sept 2016) sparker seismic and shallow-water bathymetric survey is planned to map the connection between faults imaged in the deep offshore and known fault systems mapped in the Etna-Catania region onshore.