Henry Lickorish - Structural Geology
Calgary, Canada
tel: +1 250 213 2643
Plio-Quaternary megasequence geometry and its tectonic controls within the Maghrebian thrust belt of south-central Sicily
Butler R.W.H., Grasso M. and Lickorish W.H. 1995
Terra Nova, 7, 171-178.

Sequence stratigraphy in marine foredeep and thrust-top basins is controlled by the conventional variations in eustatic sea-level and sedimentation rate together with tectonics. Vertical motions reflect combinations of subsidence due to regional flexure and uplift on local thrust anticlines which act to modify the volume and shape of accommodation spacetogether with syn-depositional slopes. Plio-Pleistocene successions on SIcily were deposited in thrust-top and foredeep basins, above and ahead of evolving publications of the Maghrebian fold and thrust belt. Collectively the sediments represent a single megasequence defined at its base by a maximum flooding surface of earliest Pliocene age following reconnection with global sea-level at the end of the Messinian. THe internal stratigraphy of this megasequence consists ofTrubi chalks, blue marls and a coastal calcarenite package with subordinate siliciclastic sand. Plankton biostratigraphy allows these facies to be placed in a chronostratigraphic framework. Regionally the upper assemblage progrades away from the orogenic hinterland, recording a tectonically forced regression in response to regional uplift from late Pliocene times. This uplift may be associated with isostatic unloading in the orogenic hinterland due to tectonic collapse of the more internal thrust-sheets. Prior to this, flexure from orogenic loading is inferred to have been sufficient for regional subsidence locally to outstrip uplift associated with the growth of some thrust publications. For shallow water facies the competition between thrust-related uplift and flexural subsidence can be investigated from the stacking patterns of parasequence sets. For publications developed at greater palaeobathymetries receiving fine-grained pelagic sediment, active tectonics may be recognised from depositional hiatuses.