Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Research article
13 May 2020
Research article |  | 13 May 2020

Seismic evidence for failed rifting in the Ligurian Basin, Western Alpine domain

Anke Dannowski, Heidrun Kopp, Ingo Grevemeyer, Dietrich Lange, Martin Thorwart, Jörg Bialas, and Martin Wollatz-Vogt

Data sets

Seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection data from profile MSM71-P02 of Maria S. Merian cruise MSM71 in the Ligurian Basin, with links to SGY data files Anke Dannowski, Heidrun Kopp, and Dietrich Lange

Short summary
The Ligurian Sea opened ~30–15 Ma during the SE migration of the Calabrian subduction zone. Seismic travel time tomography reveals the absence of oceanic crust, documenting that the extension of continental lithosphere stopped before seafloor spreading initiated. The extension led to extreme crustal thinning and possibly exhumed mantle accompanied by syn-rift sedimentation. Our new interpretation of the crust's nature is important for plate reconstruction modelling related to the Alpine orogen.