Turco, Eugenio; Macchiavelli, Chiara; Penza, Giulia; Schettino, Antonio; Pierantoni, Pietro P. 2021. "Kinematics of Deformable Blocks: Application to the Opening of the Tyrrhenian Basin and the Formation of the Apennine Chain" Geosciences 11, no. 4: 177. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040177
We describe the opening of back-arc basins and the associated formation of accretionary wedges through the application of techniques of deformable plate kinematics. These methods have proven to be suitable to describe complex tectonic processes, such as those that are observed along the Africa–Europe collision belt. In the central Mediterranean area, these processes result from the passive subduction of the lithosphere belonging to the Alpine Tethys and Ionian Ocean. In particular, we focus on the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin and the contemporary formation of the Apennine chain. We divide the area of the Apennine Chain and the Tyrrhenian basin into deformable polygons that are identified on the basis of sets of extensional structures that are coherent with unique Euler pole grids. The boundaries between these polygons coincide with large tectonic lineaments that characterize the Tyrrhenian–Apennine area. The tectonic style along these structures reflects the variability of relative velocity vectors between two adjacent blocks. The deformation of tectonic elements is accomplished, allowing different rotation velocities of lines that compose these blocks about the same stable stage poles. The angular velocities of extension are determined on the basis of the stratigraphic records of syn-rift sequences, while the rotation angles are obtained by crustal balancing.