The motion of Adria during the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous: New paleomagnetic results from stable Istria

Emo Márton, Vlasta Ćosović, Alan Moro, Sergej Zvocak

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The motion of Adria, the largest lithospheric fragment in the Central Mediterranean region, has played an important role in the tectonic development of the surrounding mountain chains and even of distant areas, like the Eastern Alps or the Pannonian basin. The available paleomagnetic data were insufficient to constrain this motion, except in a general way. In this paper, new paleomagnetic results are presented from one of the stable parts of Adria which emerge from the Adriatic Sea. The results were obtained on weakly magnetic platform carbonates of the mud-supported type, collected from 21 geographically distributed localities. The results, combined with mean paleomagnetic directions from selected localities from a pioneer study in Istria that were chosen using statistical criteria, were divided into three age groups (Tithonian-Aptian, Albian-Cenomanian, Turonian-Coniacian). The paleomagnetic poles calculated for each of them (Tithonian-Aptian): λ(N) = 47°, φ{symbol}(E) = 275°, k = 67, α95 = 9.4°, N = 5; Albian-Cenomanian: λ(N) = 58°, φ{symbol}(E) = 253°, k = 145, α95 = 4.3°, N = 9; Turonian-Coniacian: λ(N) = 63°, φ{symbol}(E) = 261°, k = 50, α95 = 7.3°, N = 9) reveal a moderate shift during the Cretataceous, which is comparable with that calculated from the African reference poles. However, the Istrian apparent polar wander path is slightly displaced from the African curve, as a consequence of about 10° counterclockwise rotation of Istria, with respect to Africa. This rotation angle is more that 10° smaller than the difference measured for the Mid-Late Eocene between the paleomagnetic direction of platform carbonates from Istria and the African reference direction. This difference may be the consequence of a small clockwise rotation of Istria, with respect to Africa, most probably at the end of Cretaceous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 27 2008



  • Adria
  • Cretaceous
  • Motion
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Stable Istria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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