The tectonic development of the Northern Adriatic region constrained by Jurassic and Cretaceous paleomagnetic results

Emo Márton, Vlasta Ćosović, Damir Bucković, Alan Moro

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In the Northern Adriatic region, there is a clear boundary between the weakly deformed stable core of the Adriatic microplate and its tectonically complicated NE margin, the External Dinarides which are further subdivided on stratigraphic and structural grounds. Although most authors distinguish an Adriatic and a Dinaridic realm within the External Dinarides, the relationship and the present boundary between the realms are matters of discussion. The aim of this study was to obtain paleomagnetic directions from different parts of the Northern Adriatic segment of the External Dinarides and discuss their bearing on the different types of the tectonic models. For this purpose we carried out standard paleomagnetic measurements on biostratigraphically well-controlled samples from 28 localities from the Adriatic mainland and the Northern Adriatic islands and from one Middle Jurassic locality representing the stable core of the Adriatic microplate. In addition, six localities from the Northern Adriatic islands, earlier studied paleomagnetically, were biostratigraphically updated and thus included in the data set. For the Northern Adriatic islands an Albian (D/I=333°/48°, k=44, α95=9°) and a Cenomanian-Santonian (D/I=334°/46°, k=188, α95=5°) paleomagnetic direction was defined. They are in perfect agreement with coeval paleomagnetic directions from stable Adria. Thus, the paleomagnetic data clearly support the models which conceive the area as the imbricated margin of the Adriatic microplate. The Early (D/I=338°/49°, k=118, α95=11°), the Middle (D/I=342°/54°, k=112, α95=7°) and the Late (D/I=336°/42°, k=62, α95=16°) Jurassic paleomagnetic directions, all representing the tectonic units of the Adriatic mainland, suggest an about 30° CW rotation of this belt of the External Dinarides with respect to stable Adria. The difference can be interpreted as inherited from the differencial rotations of two independent carbonate platforms, an Adriatic and a Dinaric. Alternatively, thrusting of the more internal belt of the External Dinarides above the Adriaticum may be responsible for the difference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Albian-Santonian
  • External Dinarides
  • Jurassic
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Tectonic implications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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