Argille scagliose (scaly clay) is a geological term first used in 1840 to describe rocks in the Northern Apennines of Italy. The term was originally created to stress the mesoscopic scaliness of a type of rock that commonly outcrops in this area. The rock is also typified by a chaotic assemblage of blocky components that are embedded within the scaly matrix. Before the advent of plate tectonic concepts, the extreme complexity of these rocks posed an extreme challenge to interpret with then-standard concepts of deposition processes in sedimentary basins. Similar rocks were recognized in many other mountain belts, thus the term became widely used. At the same time, the emphasis of the term changed from a description of the matrix to a term with multiple, intensely debated, genetic associations. Only after the discovery of plate tectonics was it accepted that these rocks are formed at subduction boundaries, and that the multiple types of embedded blocks can have an origin from both slope-instabilities within an accretionary prism, and from tectonic reworking/deformation processes near the base of an active accretionary prism. This paper reconstructs the scientific evolution of thinking about argille scagliose during the years when it was one of the supreme challenges to sedimentary geologists. The often strong debate between competing hypotheses for the origin of these rocks led to many myths that still outcrop in the geological literature. We explore why this happened, the apparent future of modern research on chaotic rocks in the Apennines and other fossil accretionary prisms, and what is and should productively remain from the long geological controversy over argille scagliose.

Myths and recent progress regarding the Argille Scagliose, Northern Apennines, Italy / P., Vannucchi; Bettelli, Giuseppe. - In: INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY REVIEW. - ISSN 0020-6814. - STAMPA. - 52:(2010), pp. 1106-1137. [10.1080/00206810903529620]

Myths and recent progress regarding the Argille Scagliose, Northern Apennines, Italy

BETTELLI, Giuseppe
2010

Abstract

Argille scagliose (scaly clay) is a geological term first used in 1840 to describe rocks in the Northern Apennines of Italy. The term was originally created to stress the mesoscopic scaliness of a type of rock that commonly outcrops in this area. The rock is also typified by a chaotic assemblage of blocky components that are embedded within the scaly matrix. Before the advent of plate tectonic concepts, the extreme complexity of these rocks posed an extreme challenge to interpret with then-standard concepts of deposition processes in sedimentary basins. Similar rocks were recognized in many other mountain belts, thus the term became widely used. At the same time, the emphasis of the term changed from a description of the matrix to a term with multiple, intensely debated, genetic associations. Only after the discovery of plate tectonics was it accepted that these rocks are formed at subduction boundaries, and that the multiple types of embedded blocks can have an origin from both slope-instabilities within an accretionary prism, and from tectonic reworking/deformation processes near the base of an active accretionary prism. This paper reconstructs the scientific evolution of thinking about argille scagliose during the years when it was one of the supreme challenges to sedimentary geologists. The often strong debate between competing hypotheses for the origin of these rocks led to many myths that still outcrop in the geological literature. We explore why this happened, the apparent future of modern research on chaotic rocks in the Apennines and other fossil accretionary prisms, and what is and should productively remain from the long geological controversy over argille scagliose.
52
1106
1137
Myths and recent progress regarding the Argille Scagliose, Northern Apennines, Italy / P., Vannucchi; Bettelli, Giuseppe. - In: INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY REVIEW. - ISSN 0020-6814. - STAMPA. - 52:(2010), pp. 1106-1137. [10.1080/00206810903529620]
P., Vannucchi; Bettelli, Giuseppe
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/709069
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