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Supplements of Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria
Volume I - 1988


Proceedings of the meeting:
The Morphotectonics in Italy


Geomorfologia quantitativa e morfotettonica dell’area di Morlupo – Castelnuovo di Porto nei Monti Sabatini (Lazio) – Quantitative Geomorphology and Moforphoncotectonics of the Morlupo-Castelnuovo di Porto (Monti Sabatini , Latium)

Pages 197-206


Within the Sabatini volcanic Complex, active be tween 0.6 and 0.05 m.y. b. p. , the easternmost sect ion, exte nd ing from Riano as far as Castelnuovo d i Porto, is considered; the aim is to evaluate the way recent tectonics influenced the prese nt landforms. This area is located on the eastern edge of the graben, in which t he whole Sabat ini volcanism evolved , and is the place where the Morlupo-Castelnuovo di Porto erupt ive cente r developed about 0.6 m.y. ago. This cen ter, the oldest of the eas tern secto r of the volcanic Complex, is not discerni ble on field, but its pyroclastics cover most of the st ud ied area , even if some products of the westernmost and younger Sacrofano center are present. Morphodynamic processes are particularly marked all over the area; th e morp hogeneti c act ion is mainly due to channelled runnin g water s, they cut the volcanic cover very deeply, which often makes the PlioPleistocene clayey-sand y lithot ypes outcrop. Morphographic and mor – phome tric characters of drai nage networks show th at many anomalies exi st in the spatia l arrangement and in the flow d irection of fluvial cha nnels, the latter being often inconsistent with regional and local slopes. Moreover , the two parameters index and density of hierarchical anomaly show generally anoma lous values; which testifies for a poor organization of the drainage networks. Furthermore, the areal distr ibut ion of d rainage density and of rel ief energy values, calculated for uni t of area , shows frequ ent irregulari ties that cannot be explained by lithological cond itions alone. These irregularities, the peculiar geometry of dra inage nets and their low degree of hierarchical organization, taken as a whole, suggest tha t watercourse di rections are strictly controlled by deep str ucture. Field survey shows that many morphological situat ions arc clearly de pending on recen t tectonics; many morphorecronic evide nces allow the identification of three main tectonic alignme nt s trendi ng respect ively NW-SE, NE-S\’(I and N·S. Fina lly, framing th ese alignernenrs in a regional context , the attempt is made to estabi lish the role they played in definin g the morphological evolution of the are a.

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