Late Cenozoic faulting in SW Bulgaria: Fault geometry, kinematics and driving stress regimes. Implications for late orogenic processes in the Hellenic hinterland - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Geodynamics Year : 2014

Late Cenozoic faulting in SW Bulgaria: Fault geometry, kinematics and driving stress regimes. Implications for late orogenic processes in the Hellenic hinterland

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Abstract

We investigate the geometry and kinematics of the faults exposed in basement rocks along the Strouma River in SW Bulgaria as well as the sequence of faulting events in order to place constraints on the Cenozoic kinematic evolution of this structurally complex domain. In order to decipher the successive stress fields that prevailed during the tectonic history, we additionally carried out an analysis of mesoscale striated faults in terms of paleostress with a novel approach. This approach is based on the P-T axes distribution of the fault-slip data, and separates the fault-slip data into different groups which are characterized by kinematic compatibility, i.e., their P and T axes have similar orientations. From these fault groups, stress tensors are resolved and in case these stress tensors define similar stress regimes (i.e., the orientations of the stress axes and the stress shape ratios are similar) then the fault groups are further unified. The merged fault groups after being filled out with those fault-slip data that have not been incorporated into the above described grouping, but which present similar geometric and kinematic features are used for defining the final stress regimes. In addition, the sequence of faulting events was constrained by available tectonostratigraphic data. Five faulting events named D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5 are distinguished since the Late Oligocene. D1 is a pure compression stress regime with ﰀ1 stress axis trending NNE-SSW that mainly activated the WNW- ESE to ENE-WSW faults as reverse to oblique reverse and the NNW-SSE striking as right-lateral oblique contractional faults during the Latest Oligocene-Earliest Miocene. D2 is a strike-slip − transpression stress regime with ﰀ1 stress axis trending NNE-SSW that mainly activated the NNW-SSE to N-S striking as right-lateral strike-slip faults and the ENE-WSW striking faults as left-lateral strike-slip ones during the Early-Middle Miocene. D3 extensional event is associated with a NW-SE to WNW-ESE extension causing the activation of mainly low-angle normal faults of NE-SW strike and NNE-SSW to NNW-SSE striking high-angle normal faults. D4 is an extensional event dated from Late Miocene to Late Pliocene. It activated NNW-SSE to NW-SE faults as normal faults and E-W to WNW-ESE faults as right-lateral oblique extensional faults. The latest D5 event is an N-S extensional stress regime that dominates the wider area of SW Bulgaria in Quaternary times. It mainly activated faults that generally strike E-W (ENE- WSW and WNW-ESE) normal faults, along which fault-bounded basins developed. The D1 and D2 events are interpreted as two progressive stages of transpressional tectonics related to the late stages of collision between Apulia and Eurasia plates. These processes gave rise to the lateral extrusion of the Rhodope and Balkan regions toward the SE along the Strouma Lineament. The D3 event is attributed to the latest stage of this collision, and represents the relaxation of the overthickened crust along the direction of the lateral extrusion. The D4 and D5 events are interpreted as post-orogenic extensional events related to the retreat of the Hellenic subduction zone since the Late Miocene and to the widespread back-arc Aegean extension still prevailing today.
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hal-01065632 , version 1 (18-09-2014)

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Markos D. Tranos, Olivier Lacombe. Late Cenozoic faulting in SW Bulgaria: Fault geometry, kinematics and driving stress regimes. Implications for late orogenic processes in the Hellenic hinterland. Journal of Geodynamics, 2014, 74, pp.32-55. ⟨10.1016/j.jog.2013.12.001⟩. ⟨hal-01065632⟩
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