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Tectonic geomorphology and Quaternary landscape development in the Albania - Montenegro border region: An inventory

Biermanns, Peter, Schmitz, Benjamin, Ustaszewski, Kamil, Reicherter, Klaus
Geomorphology 2019 v.326 pp. 116-131
deformation, geomorphology, geophysics, global positioning systems, hinterland, inventories, lakes, landscapes, remote sensing, subsidence, tectonics, towns, Albania, Montenegro
Young and recent tectonic activity can be discerned from instrumentally recorded seismic data as well as numerous geomorphological phenomena in the transition between the Dinarides and Hellenides fold-and-thrust belts. We introduce a multiparametric approach using field, remote sensing, and seismic data from the region SW of Shkodra Lake between the towns of Bar (Montenegro) and Lezha (Albania), an area that offers unique opportunities of relating landscape development with tectonic deformation. Particularly, we focus on windgap development on anticlines bound by Pliocene-Quaternary active faults that allow statements on relative timing and rates of tectonic movement during the Quaternary. We propose an overall orogen-perpendicular (NE-SW) gradient from enhanced uplift and high tectonic activity in the hinterland to lower activity in the foreland. An orogen-parallel (NW-SE) gradient is added by the (far field) effects of Shkodra-Peja Transverse Fault Zone (SPFZ). These overall tendencies are valid despite a complex small-scale mosaic of local differential uplift and subsidence. Recent GPS studies and plate movement reconstructions are sparse, providing rough estimates of 4–5 mm/y horizontal and ca. 1 mm/y vertical movement. Geomorphological and paleoseismological studies are crucial to particularize recent and to estimate long-term relative and absolute ground movement rates for this area.