Geological Field Trips and Maps - vol. 2.2 2022

Volume 14 (2.2)/2022

The Tethyan and Tyrrhenian margin record of the Central Apennines: a guide with insights from stratigraphy, tectonics, and hydrogeology

"Field workshop: from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Central Apennine front" organised by GeoSed - Italian Association for Sedimentary Geology, the section of the Italian Geological Society, 19th-23rd July 2021.

DOI: - Pages: 1-113

Giovanni Luca Cardello1, Laura Tomassetti2, Irene Cornacchia3, Alessandro Mancini4, Marco Mancini5, Ilaria Mazzini5, Giovanni Rusciadelli6, Enrico Capezzuoli7, Valeria Lorenzi8, Marco Petitta8, Gian Paolo Cavinato5, Odoardo Girotti8 & Marco Brandano5,8

1Department of Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Sassari, Via Piandanna 4, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
2Department for the Geological Survey of Italy- ISPRA, Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Via Vitaliano Brancati 48, 00100 Rome, Italy.
3Institute of Geosciences and Georesources IGG-CNR, Via G. Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
4Department of Earth Sciences "A. Desio", University of Milan, via Mangiagalli 34, 20133 Milan, Italy.
5Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering CNR IGAG, Rome 1 Research Area Montelibretti, Via Salaria km 29,300, 00015 Monterotondo Scalo, Rome, Italy.
6Department of Engineering and Geology, "G. D'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy.
7Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Via La Pira 4, 50121, Florence, Italy.
8Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro, 5, 00185, Rome, Italy.

Corresponding author e-mail:


This guide is a 5-day geotraverse across the Central Apennines, which expose the inherited Meso-Cenozoic sedimentary successions and tectonic architecture of the Apennine Tethyan passive margin. This structure was progressively involved into orogenic and post-orogenic tectonics, related to the Tyrrhenian back-arc dynamics. To show the different margin dynamics, we present: 1) sedimentologic and stratigraphic aspects, 2) relations with Neogene compressive and Quaternary extensional structures and 3) a hydrogeological case-study. The trip starts north of Rome, where Quaternary deposits at the transition from marine to continental deposition, including travertines, record the evolution of the Tyrrhenian passive margin. The excursion then moves to the Mesozoic platform margins of the Latium-Abruzzi and Apulia carbonate platforms, where perfectly preserved Cretaceous to Neogene successions occur. The Maiella mountain and Gran Sasso range testify for carbonate production changes, as recorded in facies associations and isotope geochemistry records, related to global climate shifts and regional tectonics. A focus on the hydrogeologic dynamics of the Gran Sasso aquifer is also offered in relation to the current climate change. This guide is the result of a workshop of GeoSed, the Italian Association for Sedimentary Geology, and it also aims at providing a scientific base for geo-touristic explorers.


open access