Geophysical-petrological model for bidirectional mantle delamination of the Adria microplate beneath the northern Apennines and Dinarides orogenic systems

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This study presents a geophysical-geochemical integrated model of the thermochemical structure of the lithosphere and uppermost mantle along a transect from the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea to the Pannonian Basin, crossing the northern Apennines, the Adriatic Sea, and the Dinarides fold-thrust belt. The objectives are to image crustal thickness variations and characterize the different mantle domains. In addition, we evaluate the topographic response of opposed subductions along this transect and discuss their implications in the evolution of the region. Results show a more complex structure and slightly higher average crustal density of Adria compared to Tisza microplate. Below the Tyrrhenian Sea and Western Apennines, Moho lays at <25 km depth while along the Eastern Apennines it is as deep as 55 km. The modeled lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) below the Tyrrhenian Sea and Pannonian Basin is flat lying at ∼75 and 90 km, respectively. Below the External Apennines and Dinarides the LAB deepens to 150 km, slightly shallowing toward the Adriatic foreland basin at 125 km depth. Our results are consistent with the presence of two mantle wedges, resulting from the rollback of the Ligurian-Tethys and Vardar-NeoTethys oceanic slabs followed by continental mantle delamination of the eastern and western distal margins of Adria. These two opposed slabs beneath the Apennines and Dinarides are modeled as two thermal sublithospheric anomalies of −200°C. Most of the elevation along the profile is under thermal isostasy and departures can be explained by regional isostasy with an elastic thickness between 10 and 20 km.
© 2022 The Authors. We are grateful to Associate Editor Peter DeCelles and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and detailed comments. We thank Emanuel David Kästle for making Figure 3c, Tena Belinic and co-authors for sharing their Vs model, and Eugenio Trumpy and Adele Manzella for providing us the Geothermal Database obtained within Geothopica Project. This work is funded by GeoCAM (PGC2018-095154-B-I00) from the Spanish Government, the Generalitat de Catalunya Grant (AGAUR 2017 SGR 847) and ALORBE (PIE-CSIC-202030E10). WZ is supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC-201904910470) and EBG by the Spanish Government Grant PRE2019-090524. This work has been done using the facilities of the Laboratory of Geodynamic Modeling from Geo3BCN-CSIC. Figures were made with the Generic Mapping Tools (www.soest.; Wessel & Smith, 1998).
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