Nubia-Eurasia kinematics: an alternative interpretation from Mediterranean and North Atlantic evidence

E. Mantovani, M. Viti, D. Babbucci, D. Albarello


It is argued that the Plio-Quaternary deformation pattern in the Mediterranean region is compatible with a SSWNNE
convergence between Africa (Nubia) and Eurasia and that the significant difference between this kinematics
and the one provided by global models (SSE-NNW convergence e.g., the NUVEL-1) may be due to the fact
that those models interpret North Atlantic data by adopting an oversimplified two-plate configuration, which
cannot account for the occurrence of significant seismotectonic activity inside the presumed Nubia and Eurasia
blocks. It is shown that the adoption of a new plate configuration involving the Iberia and Morocco microplates,
strongly suggested by geological and seismotectonic evidence, makes it possible to identify a kinematic model
compatible within errors with the constraints recognized in the Mediterranean region and with the NUVEL-1
North Atlantic data set. Some considerations are made about why the present-day Nubia-Eurasia kinematic models
inferred from geodetic observations are significantly different from long-term models, such as model NUVEL-
1 and the one proposed in this work.


Nubia-Eurasia kinematics;Mediterranean region;Plio-Quaternary deformation

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X