Tectonics of Calabria, Southern Italy

Calabria, the toe of Italy, preserves a unique record of Hercynian, Tethyan, and Alpine tectonics. My group works on several aspects of this deformation.

In the aftermath of the Hercynian Orogeny--the European equivalent to the Alleghenian Orogeny--large amount of post-orogenic magmatism affected the rock record. Several hypotheses have been presented, including post-orogenic collapse, lithospheric delamination, and strike-slip faulting. Our group is working on understanding what tectonic process may have occurred and whether the upper mantle and lower crust section exposed in Calabria may contain unique evidence of this process.

Current and previous research projects:

Looking for an undergraduate research project student!

Unlike classic Penrose-type ophiolitic sequences, ophiolite fragments accreted in the Apennines and Alps appear to represent pieces of Tethyan hyperextended margins. These can be recognized in the field by exposures of volcanic and oceanic sedimentary sequences that are separated from high-temperature gabbroic mylonites and serpentinite by low-angle detachment faults. These margins may also be locations prone to subduction initiate beneath continental margins. My group uses field mapping, geochemistry, and geochronology to understand the history of these unusual pieces of crust.

Current and previous research projects:

Claire Battistella (now at Univ of Alabama, MS), 2015, Geologic mapping of a Tethyan ocean-continent transition detachment fault exposed in the Liguride Complex of Southern Italy

The transition between Tethyan rifting and Alpine/Apenninic convergence requires the development of a subduction zone beneath the European margin. When and how this subduction zone initiates is an open question in Western Mediterranean tectonics. Furthermore, the effects of subduction initiation on the regional geology are poorly understood. We have used field mapping, geochronology, and modeling to understand these processes.

Current and previous research projects:

Will Schmidt (now at USC, PhD), undergraduate, 2014, A reassessment of fission-track ages and the thermal evolution of the Calabrian Arc after the initiation of subduction, Southern Italy

 

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Early history of the Trinity Terrane, Klamath Mountains, California

The Trinity Terrane of Northern California is an unusual crustal unit containing both Ordovician blueschist-facies rocks and Neoproterozoic granitoids. We've recently been working out a low-angle detachment fault that may have developed in a ridge setting, or in an island arc.. Our group is using field mapping, geochemistry, and geochronology to help understand this strange piece of crust.

Current and previous research projects:

Bret Sample (now at CSU Northridge, M.S.), undergraduate, 2016, Is a Triassic subduction initiation event recorded in the Fort Jones Terrane, Klamath Mountains, California?

Emily Haugen (now at Utah State, M.S.), undergraduate, 2015, Age and origin of leucocratic rocks of the Neoproterozoic Trinity Ophiolite, Klamath Mountain, California

Anthony Billecci, undergraduate, 2014, Detailed mapping and observations of a new section of the Skookum Gulch Schist and Trinity Ophiolite, Eastern Klamath Mountains, California

Jesse Stovall, undergraduate, 2013, Possible counterclockwise P-T-t path from the Fort Jones Terrane near Yreka, California