A low-angle extensional fault system affecting the non metamorphic rocks of the carbonate dominated Tuscan succession is exposed in the Lima valley (Northern Apennines, Italy). This fault system affects the right-side-up limb of a kilometric-scale recumbent isoclinal anticline and is, in turn, affected by superimposed folding and late-tectonic high-angle extensional faulting. The architecture of the low-angle fault system has been investigated through detailed structural mapping and damage zone characterization. Pressure-depth conditions and paleofluid evolution of the fault system have been studied through microstructural, mineralogical, petrographic, fluid inclusion and stable isotope analyses. Our results show that the low-angle fault system was active during exhumation of the Tuscan succession at about 180C and 5 km depth, with the involvement of low-salinity fluids. Within this temperature - depth framework, the fault zone architecture shows important differences related to the different lithologies involved in the fault system and to the role played by the fluids during deformation. In places, footwall overpressuring influenced active deformation mechanisms and favored shear strain localization. Our observations indicate that extensional structures affected the central sector of the Northern Apennines thrust wedge during the orogenic contractional history, modifying the fluid circulation through the upper crust and influencing its mechanical behavior.
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