Structural Geology and Tectonics

The Research activites of Structural Geology and Tectonics Staff at the DSFTA Department are concerned with the deformation of the Earth’s crust and lithosphere, with special attention to the uppermost levels of the continental crust and to accretionary wedges at active continental margins. Specifically, the main research topics comprise:


  • Anatomy and evolution of collision mountain belts, with examples from the northern Apennines, but also from other fossil and active orogenic systems;


  • Evolution of the inner zones of orogenic mountain belts, with examples from the northern Apennines and from the inner sector of the variscan belt of Sardinia;

  • Evolution of ancient collision mountain ranges in Antactica, with special emphasis on the history of belts developed during the Ross orogeny.

  • Evolution of ophiolitic suture zones, accretionary wedges and their sedimentary cover sequences, with examples from the ligurian units of the Apennines;

  • Evolution of metamorphic, multiply deformed domains within the innermost zones of collision mountain belts, with examples from the Alpi Apuane metamorphic core complex;

  • Evolution of extensional systems and development of late/post orogenic basins, with examples from the inner and axial provinces of the Apennines;

  • Anatomy and deformation history of the innermost provinces of collision mountain belts, with examples derived from the study of metamorphic and non-metamorphic units of the Apennines in Tuscany;

  • Style and evolution of sedimentary sequences affected by orogenic deformations, with examples mainly derived from the umbria-marche province of the northern Apennines;
  • Architecture and evolution of belt-foredeep-foreland systems, with examples mainly located in the Adriatic foothill zones of the Apennines;

  • Deformation history of mountain belts originated due to positive inversion tectonics, with examples mainly derived from the northern (e.g. tuscan, umbrian, marchean) and southern (e.g. campanian, lucanian, apulian, calabrian and sicilian) provinces of the Apennine-Maghrebide system;

  • Geometry and evolution of belts derived from oblique, i.e. transpressional or transtensional deformations, with examples derived from active (e.g. California Coast Ranges) and fossil (e.g. Southern Uplands of Scotland and Ireland; Spitzbergen Isles, Svalbard) orogenic belts;

  • Active tectonics, neotectonics and seismotectonics, with examples mainly derived from the northern and southern Apennines, as well as from seismically active analogues (e.g. Coast Ranges of California; North Anatolian Fault of Turkey);

  • Structural geology, history and evolution of geothermal fields, with examples mainly from the Apennines, Turkey and Wyoming (USA);

  • Petroleum geology, with studies on the geometry of traps and evolution of fracured reservoirs;

  • Fault rock mechanics, with emphasis on the mechanical and rheological propetries, development and evolution of natural fault rocks.