Uplifted marine terraces at the Velebit mountain, Croatia.

New paper on the tectonic evolution of the Dinarides

In a new paper we investigate uplifted marine terraces along the Dinaric coast and explain what conclusions can be drawn about processes deep in the Earth's interior.
Uplifted marine terraces at the Velebit mountain, Croatia.
Graphic: Philipp Balling

Published: 29 January 2021, 14:30

Distribution of uplifted marine terraces in the Dinarides. Distribution of uplifted marine terraces in the Dinarides. Image: Philipp Balling

In a new paper we shed light on the tectonic evolution of the Dinarides. Along the Dinaric coast, we mapped a system of uplifted marine terraces in the field and from remote sensing data. These terraces are found at up to 600 m elevation above sea level. Another indication of the uplift of the Dinarides are deeply incised river channels on both sides of the Adriatic-Black Sea watershed. We were able to constrain the timing of the uplift to 28-17 Ma. The combination of our observations with geophysical data suggests that delamination of the lithospheric mantle and subsequent isostatic readjustment caused the uplift. Our study not only shows how this deep process affects surface deformation. It also proves that the traces of such events are preserved over millions of years and that the external Dinarides did not experience significant deformation after the uplift.

Balling, P., Grützner, C., Tomljenović, B., Spakman, W. & Ustaszewski, K., 2021. Post-collisional mantle delamination in the Dinarides implied from staircases of Oligo-Miocene uplifted marine terraces. Sci Rep 11, 2685.

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