The regional stress field in volcanic areas may be overprinted by that produced by magmatic activity, promoting volcanism and faulting. In particular, in strike-slip settings, the definition of the relationships between the regional stress field and magmatic activity remains elusive. To better understand these relationships, we collected stratigraphic, volcanic and structural field data along the strike-slip Central Aeolian arc (Italy): here the islands of Lipari and Vulcano separate the extensional portion of the arc (to the east) from the contractional one (to the west). We collected >500 measurements of faults, extension fractures and dikes at 40 sites. Most structures are NNE-SSW to NNW-SSE oriented, eastward dipping, and show almost pure dip-slip motion; consistent with an E-W extension direction, with minor dextral and sinistral shear. Our data highlight six eruptive periods during the last 55 ka, which allow considering both islands as a single magmatic system, in which tectonic and magmatic activity steadily migrated eastward and currently focus on a 10 km long x 2 km wide active segment. Faulting appears to mostly occur in temporal and spatial relation with magmatic events, supporting that most of the observable deformation derives from transient magmatic activity (shorter-term, days to months), rather than from steady longer-term regional tectonics (102-104 years). More in general, the Central Aeolian case shows how magmatic activity may affect the structure and evolution of volcanic arcs, overprinting any strike-slip motion with magma-induced extension at the surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology