Tectonic studies of active and fossil orogenic belts

Much of our group field-based research is aimed at reconstructing the geodynamic and tectonic evolution of fossil and deeply exhumed orogens and active orogenic belts.

Field mapping, multiscalar structural analysis, geochronological investigations, balanced cross sections, basin analysis, petrography and petrology are the backbone of our integrated studies and models. Our studies provide insights on (i) the space-time evolution of the tectonic deformation within the orogenic wedge development, (ii) the metamorphic gradients characterising burial (during subduction) and rising (during exhumation) of tectono-metamorphic units in internal and axial portions of the orogenic domains, (iii) the relationships between occurrence of inherited tectonic setting and localisation of deformation, (iv) the relationships between tectonic deformation and crustal fluid circulation, (v) the activation of fault systems in seismically active orogenic domains.

Our main study areas are the Southern European Alps (Valsugana and Belluno Thrust, Foiana Line, Cima Marana Thrust, Trento-Cles Line), the Ligurian Alps (Voltri Group), the Northern Apennines (Elba Island and western Tuscany region), the Central Apennines (Amatrice Basin, Lazio Magmatic Province), and the Southern Apennines (the Gargano Promontory, Mattinata Line), the Calabrian-Peloritan Arc (Coastal Chain, Sila Massif, eastern Peloritani Mountains), Norway, Oman, Thracia (Kavala-Xanthi Line), South Africa, Namibia, Vietnam, Mozambique, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, central Iran (the Sabzevar region), the north Victoria Land in Antarctica (Deep Freeze Range).


The structural, metamorphic and magmatic evolution of Mesoproterozoic orogens


Selected references

- Castellarin A., Piccioni S., Prosser G., Sanguinetti E., Sartori R. and Selli L. (1993): Mesozoic continental rifting and Neogene inversion along the South Giudicarie Line (Northwestern Brenta Dolomites). Memorie della Società Geologica Italiana, 49, 125-144.

- Selli L., Bargossi G.M., Di Battistini G., Mordenti A., Tranne C.A. and Stefani A. (1996): Le vulcaniti permiane a N della Linea del Calisio: evoluzione strutturale del margine SW del distretto vulcanico atesino (Trento, Italia). Mineralogica Petrologica Acta, 39, 169-196.

- Martin S., Bigazzi G., Zattin M., Viola G. and Balestrieri L. (1998): Neogene kinematics of the Giudicarie fault (Central-Eastern Alps, Italy): new apatite fission-track data. Terra Nova, 10, 4, 217-222.

- Selli L. (1998): Il Lineamento della Valsugana fra Trento e Cima d’Asta: cinematica neogenica ed eredità strutturali permo-mesozoiche nel quadro evolutivo del Sudalpino orientale (NE-Italia). Memorie della Società Geologica Italiana, 53, 503-541

- Viola G., Mancktelow N. and Seward D. (2001): Late Oligocene - Neogene evolution of Europe-Adria collision: New structural and geochronological evidence from the Giudicarie fault system (Italian eastern Alps). Tectonics, 20, 999-1020.

- Viola G., Andreoli, M., Ben Avraham, Z., Stengel I., and Reshef M. (2005): Offshore mud volcanoes and onland faulting in southwestern Africa: Neotectonic implications and constraints on the regional stress field. EPSL, 231, 147-160.

- Thomas, R.J., Jacobs, J., Hollick, L.M. and Viola, G. (2005): Sheet Malema, 1:250.000, Republic of Mozambique.

- Thomas, R.J., Jacobs, J., Hollick, L.M. and Viola, G. (2005): Sheet Ribaue, 1:250.000, Republic of Mozambique.

- Castellarin A., Nicolich R., Fantoni R., Cantelli L., Sella M. and Selli L. (2006): Structure of the lithosphere beneath the Eastern Alps (Southern Sector of the TRANSALP Transect). Tectonophysics 414, 259-282.

- Anczkiewicz R., Viola G., Thirlwall, M., Müntener, O. and Quong, N. (2007): Structure and shearing conditions in the Day Nui Con Voi massif, northern Vietnam: Implications for the evolution of the Red River fault. Tectonics, 26, TC2002, doi: 10.1029/2006TC001972.

- Engvik, A.K., Tveten, E., Bingen, B., Viola, G., Erambert, M., Feito, P. and de Azavedo, S. (2007): PT-t evolution and decompressional textures of Pan-African high-pressure granulites, Lurio Belt, northeastern Mozambique. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 25, 9, 935-952.

- Bingen, B., Nordgulen, Ø. and Viola G. (2008): A four-phase model for the Sveconorwegian orogeny, SW Scandinavia. Norwegian Journal of Geology, 88, 43-72.

- Viola, G., Henderson, I.H.C., Bingen, B., Thomas, R., Smethurst, M.A. and De Azavedo, S. (2008): Growth and collapse of a deeply eroded orogen: Insights from structural, geophysical and geochronological constraints on the Pan-African evolution of NE Mozambique. Tectonics, 27, TC5009, doi: 10.1029/2008TC002284.

- B. Bingen, J. Jacobs, G. Viola, I.H.C. Henderson, Ø. Skår, R. Boyd, R.J. Thomas, A. Solli, R.M. Key and E. Daudi (2009): Geochronology of the Precambrian crust in the Mozambique Belt of NE Mozambique, and implications for Gondwana assembly. Precambrian Research, 170, 231-255.

- Cocco S., Avanzini M., Nardin M., Bargossi G.M., Borsato A., Selli L., Demozzi M., Ferretti P., Lunz M., Marini M., Moretti A., Passamani S., Piccin G., Piffer G., Piubelli D., Tomasoni R., Santacattarina M., Spanò M., Vallone R., Varrone D., Zandonai F., 2010 -  Carta Geologica d'Italia alla scala 1:50.000: Foglio 060 Trento. ISPRA, Servizio Geologico d'Italia. System Cart, Roma.

- Boyd, R. Nordgulen, Ø, 8 others, Viola, G., and 12 more (2010): The geology and geochemistry of the East African Orogen in NE Mozambique. South African Journal of Geology, 113, 87-129.

- Selli L. (2010): The puzzle of the Monte Spinale Klippe and its Quaternary evolution (NW Brenta Dolomites, Central Southern Alps.  Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana, vol. 10 - Note brevi, 129 - 132 ISSN: 2035-8008.

- Macey, P.H., 9 others, Viola, G., and 12 more (2010): Mesoproterozoic geology of the Nampula Block, northern Mozambique: tracing fragments of Mesoproterozoic crust in the heart of Gondwana. Precambrian Research, doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2010.07.005.

- Viola, G., Henderson, I.H.C., Bingen B., and Hendriks B.W.H. (2011): The Grenvillian-Sveconorwegian orogeny in Fennoscandia: Back thrusting and extensional shearing along the "Mylonite Zone. Precambrian Research, 189, 368-388.

- Fritz H., 12 others and Viola, G. (invited review paper; 2013): Orogen styles in the East African Orogens: A review of the Neoproterozoic to early Phanerozoic tectonic evolution. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 86, 65-106.

- Roberts, N.M.W., Slagstad, T. and Viola, G. (2015): Orogenesis in the Mesoproterozoic. Precambrian Research, 265, 1-9.

- Henderson, I.H.C., Viola, G. and Nasuti, A. (2015): A new tectonic model for the Palaeoproterozoic Kautokeino Greenstone Belt, northern Norway, based on high-resolution airborne magnetic data and field structural analysis and implications for mineral potential. Norwegian Journal of Geology, 95, 3-4, 339-363.

- Torgersen, E., Viola, G. and Sandstad, J.S. (2015): Revised structure and stratigraphy of the northwestern Repparfjord Tectonic Window, northern Norway. Norwegian Journal of Geology, 95, 3-4,1-25.

- Bingen, B., Solli, A., Viola, G., Torgersen, E., Sandstad, JS., Whitehouse, M.J., Skår, Ø., Ganerød, M. and Nasuti, A. (2015): Geochronology of the Palaeoproterozoic Kautokeino Greenstone Belt, Finnmark, northern Norway: Tectonic implications in a Fennoscandia context. Norwegian Journal of Geology, 95, 3-4, 365-396.

- Viola, G., Bingen, B. and Solli, A. (2016): Bedrock map of the Kongsberg lithotectonic unit, 1:100 000, NGU, Geological Survey of Norway.

- Bingen, B. and Viola, G.(2018): The early-Sveconorwegian orogeny in southern Norway: Tectonic model involving delamination of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle. Precambrian Research, 313, 170-204, doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2018.05.025.

- Viola, G., Torgersen, E., Mazzarini, F., Musumeci, G., van der Lelij, R., Schönenberger, J. and Garofalo, S.P., (2018): New Constraints on the Evolution of the Inner Northern Apennines by K-Ar Dating of Late Miocene-Early Pliocene Compression on the Island of Elba, Italy. Tectonics, 37, doi: 10.1029/2018TC005182.

- Papeschi, S., Musumeci, G., Massonne, H-J., Mazzarini, F., Ryan, E.J., Viola, G.(2020): High‐P (P = 1.5–1.8 GPa) blueschist from Elba: Implications for underthrusting and exhumation of continental units in the Northern Apennines. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 38, 495 – 525.

- Curzi M., Aldega L., Bernasconi S.M., Berra F., Billi A., Boschi C., Franchini S., Van der Lelij R., Viola G., Carminati E. (2020): Architecture and evolution of an extensionally-inverted thrust (Mt. Tancia Thrust, Central Apennines): Geological, structural, geochemical, and K–Ar geochronological constraints. Journal of Structural Geology, 136.

- Grosch, E.G.; Viola, G., Ndlela, S.(2020): Geological record of Paleoarchean oceanic flake tectonics preserved in the c. 3.3 Ga Kromberg volcanic type-section, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. Precambrian Research, 346, pp. 1 – 23.

- Tavani S., Vignaroli G., Parente M. (2015). Transverse vs longitudinal extension in the foredeep peripheral bulge system: role of Cretaceous structural inheritances during Early Miocene extensional faulting in inner central Apennines Belt. Tectonics, 34, 1412-1430,doi: 10.1002/2015TC003836

- Rossetti F., Vignaroli G., Di Vincenzo G., Gerdes A., Ghezzo C., Theye T., Balsamo F. (2011). Long-lived orogenic construction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana (Deep Freeze Range, North Victoria Land, Antarctica). Tectonics, 30, TC4008, doi:10.1029/2010TC002804.

- Vignaroli G., Rossetti F., Rubatto D., Theye T., Lisker F., Phillips D. (2010). Pressure-Temperature-Deformation-time (P-T-d-t) exhumation history of the Voltri Massif HP-complex, Ligurian Alps, Italy. Tectonics, 29, TC6009, doi:10.1029/2009TC002621.

- Rossetti F., Nasrabady M., Vignaroli G., Theye T., Gerdes A., Razavi M.H. and Vaziri H.M. (2010). Early Cretaceous migmatitic mafic granulites from the Sabzevar range (NE Iran): implications for the closure of the mesozoic peri-tethyan oceans in central Iran. Terra Nova, 22, 26-34, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3121.2009.00912.x.

- Vignaroli G., Faccenna C., Jolivet L., Piromallo C., Rossetti F. (2008). Subduction polarity reversal at the junction between the Western Alps and the Northern Apennines, Italy. Tectonophysics, 450, 34-50.

- Vignaroli G., Rossetti F., Theye T. and Faccenna C. (2008). Styles and regimes of orogenic thickening in the Peloritani Mountains (Sicily, Italy): new constraints on the tectono-metamorphic evolution of the Apennine belt. Geological Magazine, 145, 552-569, doi: 10.1017/S0016756807004293.

- Vignaroli G., Rossetti F., Bouybaouene M., Massonne H.J., Theye T, Faccenna C. and Funiciello R. (2005). A counter-clockwise P-T path for the Voltri Massif eclogites (Ligurian Alps, Italy). Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 23 (7), 533-555.