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Subparallel thrust and normal faulting in Albania and the roles of gravitational potential energy and rheology contrasts in mountain belts

Copley, Alex and Boait, Fran and Hollingsworth, James and Jackson, James and McKenzie, Dan (2009) Subparallel thrust and normal faulting in Albania and the roles of gravitational potential energy and rheology contrasts in mountain belts. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 114 (B5). Art. No. B05407. ISSN 0148-0227. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20090819-122753108

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Abstract

The active tectonics of Albania and surrounding regions, on the eastern margin of the Adriatic Sea, is characterized by subparallel thrust and normal faulting which, we suggest, is likely to be related to gravitational potential energy contrasts between the low-lying Adriatic Sea and the elevated mountainous areas inland. We calculate the magnitude of the force which the mountains and lowlands exert upon each other as a result of this potential energy contrast. It is likely that this force is largely supported by shear stresses on faults, and if so, the average stresses are less than ∼20 MPa. Alternatively, if the mountains are supported by stresses in the ductile part of the lithosphere, the stresses are likely to be ∼80–240 MPa in magnitude. The mountains of Albania are significantly lower than other ranges, such as the Peruvian Andes, which are thought to be extending in response to potential energy differences, and we discuss the relation between Albania and these other, higher, mountain belts from the perspective of differences in lithosphere rheology. We suggest that the lowlands of western Albania and the Adriatic Sea may have been weakened through time as a result of the deposition of large thicknesses of sediment, which lead to heating of the crystalline basement, a reduction in the potential energy contrast that could be supported by the lowlands, and so normal faulting in the mountains of eastern Albania.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008JB005931DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JB005931.shtmlPublisherUNSPECIFIED
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Hollingsworth, James0000-0003-0122-296X
Additional Information:© 2009 American Geophysical Union. Received 15 July 2008; accepted 19 February 2009; published 13 May 2009. We thank two anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript. This work was funded by a NERC grant to COMET-NCEO (http://comet.nerc.ac.uk). Some of the figures were produced using the Generic Mapping Tools. 8107 Tectonophysics: Continental neotectonics (8002); 8159 Tectonophysics: Rheology: crust and lithosphere (8031); 8164 Tectonophysics: Stresses: crust and lithosphere.
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Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Environment Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Albania, active tectonics
Issue or Number:B5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090819-122753108
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20090819-122753108
Official Citation:Copley, A., F. Boait, J. Hollingsworth, J. Jackson, and D. McKenzie (2009), Subparallel thrust and normal faulting in Albania and the roles of gravitational potential energy and rheology contrasts in mountain belts, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B05407, doi:10.1029/2008JB005931.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15172
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Aug 2009 20:29
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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