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Volume 32 (2) - 2009


Karst morphogenesis and tectonics in South-Eastern Murge (Apulia, Italy)

Pages 145-155


The south-eastern border of the Murge plateau (Italy) is limited by the so-called «Soglia Messapica», which structurally separates the southernmost part of Apulia, the Salento peninsula, from the rest of the Apulian foreland. Here, the Murge plateau is characterized by a well defined karst landscape; in particular, the caves and their fillings represent potential geomorphological archives in which proof of recent tectonics may be found. Among the five caves considered in this study, the Grotta di Nove Casedde is the most representative; its forms have been analyzed in relation to the surface features. Hypogeous and surface data together have allowed us to individuate two tectonic phases recorded by fractures and breakdowns in speleothems. Analyses of the speleothems indicate that tectonic phases could have taken place before and after a phase of chemical deposition which is characterized by the growth of speleothems, aged 90 ka by means of Th/U analyses.

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