The northern fault of the onshore-offshore Monte Giove relief in the southern Adriatic Sea, Italy: implications for tectonic reactivation in the Apulian Foreland

Marianna Cicala, Francesco De Giosa, Vincenzo Festa, Stefania Nunzia Lisco, Massimo Moretti


We provide improved constraints on the timing, geometry and kinematics of the fault that may control the northern submerged morpho-structural relief termed Monte Giove, offshore from the town of Polignano a Mare. We have integrated onshore and offshore data, and interpreted seismic profiles from the ViDEPI project pertaining to the offshore Adriatic Sea of the Murge area, and made field observations north of Polignano a Mare. The fault has been surveyed onshore and mainly offshore along a distance of ~25 km. Generally striking E–W, it dips at high angle to the NNE in the west and to the N in the east. Active since at least the Cretaceous, this was reactivated after the Early Pleistocene with dextral oblique-slip kinematics. It borders the Monte Giove submerged relief/structural high, and continues eastwards in the Adriatic Sea into the Northern Deformation Zone/”Murge basse” graben, that in turn affected the onshore Murge area. Fault reactivation may have been related to a strain field in the outer part of the gentle buckle fold that involved the continental lithosphere of the Apulian Foreland (i.e., the areas of the Murge onshore and the Adriatic Sea offshore) since the Middle Pleistocene, as roll-back of the subducting lithosphere halted. Besides its tectonic reactivation, this fault has important implications as regards local seismic hazard, as well as the morphology influencing the present-day bioherm.


Apulian Foreland; Monte Giove; Murge; fault reactivation

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