Palaeomagnetic results from an archaeological site near Rome (Italy): new insights for tectonic rotation during the last 0.5 Myr

F. Florindo, F. Marra, P. Montone, M. Pirro, E. Boschi


Approximately 20 km north-east of Rome, along the modern trace of the Tiburtina road, recent archaeological diggings have brought to light a system of aqueduct galleries constructed by Roman engineers. This site falls inside the Acque Albule Basin, a travertine plateau Upper Pleistocene in age, that has been interpreted as a rhombshaped pull-apart basin created by strike-slip faulting within a N-S shear zone. This study provides evidence that two narrow water channels of this aqueduct system were significantly deformed by tectonic movement that occurred subsequent to their construction (II-III century A.D.). The geometry of the deformation pattern is compatible with that expected for a shear zone bounded by N-S oriented, right-lateral faults. The palaeomagnetic study of the volcanic formation («Pozzolane Rosse» Formation, 457± 4 kyr) containing the Roman aqueduct system evidences significant clockwise rotation around sub-vertical axis, consistent with the above-mentioned tectonic style.


palaeomagnetism;block rotation;active tectonics;Rome

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