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Regional scale morphological pattern of the Tyrrhenian Sea: New insights from EMODnet bathymetry

Palmiotto, C., Loreto, M.F.
Geomorphology 2019 v.332 pp. 88-99
Internet, Pliocene epoch, basins, tectonics, Tyrrhenian Sea
A large body of literature exists on the morphology of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the youngest back-arc basin of the Eastern Mediterranean; however, most of these studies are focused on local areas, without considering the broad regional setting. In this paper we consider the morphology of the entire Tyrrhenian Sea at a regional scale, based on a DEM analysis of middle-resolution bathymetry downloaded from the EMODnet website. Based on these data, a first morpholineaments map has been created identifying >500 features >10 km in length, without considering their tectonic settings and age. Furthermore, a Tyrrhenian regional tectonic map has been digitized from literature and the faults divided in Pre-Pliocene, Pliocene and Plio-Quaternary. Morpholineaments and tectonic lineaments have been grouped in six Tyrrhenian Sea areas plotted in rose diagrams in order to obtain the main trends in each region and to detect relationships between morphology and tectonics. Rose diagrams show that most of the identified morpholineaments have a tectonic origin, although they are not coeval, as they developed during different phases of the opening of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin. Moreover, morpholineaments data suggest that some regions of the Tyrrhenian Sea may be dominated by a single main trend, whereas in other regions the occurrence of more trends testifies a major tectonic complexity.