Geology of the Western Alps-Northern Apennine junction area: a regional review

Giancarlo Molli, Laura Crispini, Fabrizio Piana, Pietro Mosca, Laura Federico, and Marco G. Malusà

This paper aims at describing some aspects of the Alps-Apennines orogens and their relationship in space and time with special focus on their junction area. After an historical outline of the subject, the main morphostructural, geophysical and tectonic domains of the system will be outlined. The result of recent research and a review of structural and thermochronometric data of the exhumed units in the mountain belts and on the sedimentation and deformation record in the surrounding basins will be used to constrain key events of the geological history. An analysis of crustal-scale cross sections across the Western Alps, Northern Apennine and Western Po Plain altogether with a presentation of the main exposed and buried boundary faults and their time activity are presented. We will try to constrain the evolution of the Western Alps/Northern Apennine junction area by analyzing and comparing the main elements of the growing and interfering segments of the orogens providing some remarks on recently proposed kinematic interpretations and point out open problems and our ongoing research.