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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2012.35.5


Evidence of tectonic influence on drainage evolution in an uplifting
area: the case of northern Sila (Calabria, Italy)

Pages 49-60


The Sila Massif (Calabria, southern Italy) is a high-standing plateau with a rolling upland surface lying between 1000 and 1900 m. It is underlain by magmatic and metamorphic rocks thrusted over Mesozoic carbonate and terrigenous units. The Sila Massif is surrounded by low-standing extensional basins, filled with several upper Tortonian to Holocene marine and fluvial deposits. Since the end of the early Pleistocene, the Sila Massif has been uplifted regionally as indicated by deeply incised river valleys and flights of marine terraces. The low-relief Sila upland surface is the remnants of a pre-uplifted landscape developed during a long time of stable base level. Our study examines the tectonic geomorphology of an area extending from the northern flank of the massif to its interiors including the Cecita Lake. We focused on the general topographic metrics, drainage patterns, and river long profiles, based on field surveys and aerial-photo interpretation. Our goal was to investigate the local tectonic constrains on the evolution of northern Sila drainage network in the context of the Calabrian Arc uplift. Our results indicate that the drainage evolution has been strongly controlled primarily by local tectonics and secondarily by regional uplift. In particular, we suggest that the northward continuation of the informally-named Cecita Lake Fault has recently reorganized the northern Sila drainage by west-side down subsidence of the hanging wall.

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