Sedimentary Melanges and Fossil Mass-Transport Complexes: A Key for Better Understanding Submarine Mass Movements?

Gian Andrea Pini, Kei Ogata, Angelo Camerlenghi, Andrea Festa, Claudio Corrado Lucente, Giulia Codegone

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Mélanges originated from sedimentary processes (sedimentary mélanges) and olistostromes are frequently present in mountain chains worldwide. They are excellent fossil examples of mass- Transport complexes (MTC), often cropping out in well-preserved and laterally continuous exposures. In this article we will show the results of the integrated study of fossil MTCs, including sedimentary mélanges/ olistostromes, with a focus on the Apennines of Italy. Fossil MTCs, especially the basin-wide ones, are composite and multi-event units involving the entire spectra of mass- Transport processes. The down-slope motion of these bodies is enabled by the relative movement of discrete masses, with progressive stratal disruption of rocks/sediment involved and flow transformation. Three kinds of MTC are here distinguished, in which the movements are enabled by (1) shear-dominated viscous flows within a muddy matrix, (2) mud-silt-sandy matrix sustained by fluid overpressure, (3) concentrated shear zones/surfaces with advection of grains and fluid (overpressured basal carpets). These MTC types may represent end-members of a continuum of products and correspond to different kinematics of transport and emplacement and to different relationship with the substratum. These observations should result in a better knowledge of mass- Transport processes and bodies, in relation with the basin floor geometries. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSedimentary melanges and fossil mass- Transport complexes: A key for better understanding submarine mass movements?
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9789400721616
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameSubmarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences - 5th International Symposium


  • Mass- Transport complexes
  • Melanges
  • Olistostromes
  • Submarine landslides


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