A Comparison between a Present-Day (Taranto Gulf) and a Miocene (Irpinian Basin) Foredeep of the Southern Apennines (Italy)

  1. P. A. Allen and
  2. P. Homewood
  1. Tullio Pescatore and
  2. Maria Rosaria Senatore

Published Online: 5 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303810.ch8

Foreland Basins

Foreland Basins

How to Cite

Pescatore, T. and Senatore, M. R. (1986) A Comparison between a Present-Day (Taranto Gulf) and a Miocene (Irpinian Basin) Foredeep of the Southern Apennines (Italy), in Foreland Basins (eds P. A. Allen and P. Homewood), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303810.ch8

Author Information

  1. Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Napoli, Largo S. Marcellino, 10 80138 Napoli, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 22 DEC 1986

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632017324

Online ISBN: 9781444303810



  • present-day (Taranto Gulf) and Miocene (Irpinian Basin) comparison foredeep of Southern Apennines (Italy);
  • structural framework of land surrounding Gulf of Taranto;
  • Sparker profile across Gulf of Taranto showing piggyback basins of western sector;
  • Irpinian Units and Plio-Quaternary depocentres in Gulf of Taranto;
  • Faeto Formation and Gallipoli Basin succession;
  • Burdigalian tectonic phase and collision of two crustal segments of different thicknesses


The Gulf of Taranto, located between an orogenic belt (Apennine Chain and Calabrian Arc) and the Apulia foreland, is the present-day foredeep area of the Southern Apennines.

Several Plio–Pleistocene depocentres exist overlying different structural units. From west to east, these are: basins on the allochthonous thrust sheets (piggyback basins); the foredeep sensu stricto, located at the front of the thrust sheets, and minor basins on the Apulia Unit.

An analogous distribution of the areas of sedimentation has been inferred from analysis of the Irpinian Units in the Apennine Chain. These units were deposited from Burdigalian to Tortonian in a basin called the Irpinian Basin. The diachronism of the facies and the regressive trend of the Irpinian Units allow us to consider an evolution of the basin with an eastwards shifting of the foredeep.

The Gulf of Taranto would seem to be a foredeep in a mature stage in which the front of the thrust sheets is close to the Apulia Platform; the Irpinian Basin, in its initial stage (Burdigalian), represents a wide foredeep tending to shrink; it closed when the margin of the thrust sheets reached the Abruzzi–Campania Platform (Tortonian), provoking a major phase of deformation.

Structural trends of the Irpinian Basin were controlled by features acquired during the tensile regime of the Adria continental margin.