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In order to investigate deformation within the upper plate of the Calabrian subduction zone we have mapped and modelled a sequence of Late Quaternary palaeoshorelines tectonically‐deformed by the Capo D’Orlando normal fault, NE Sicily, which forms part of the actively deforming Calabrian Arc. In addition to the 1908 Messina Strait earthquake (Mw 7.1), this region has experienced damaging earthquakes, possibly on the Capo D’Orlando Fault, however, it is not considered by some to be a potential seismogenic source. Uplifted Quaternary palaeoshorelines are preserved on the hangingwall of the Capo D’Orlando Fault, indicating that hangingwall subsidence is counteracted by regional uplift, likely because of deformation associated with subduction/collision. We attempt to constrain the relationship between regional uplift, crustal extensional processes and historical seismicity, and we quantify both the normal and regional deformation signals. We report uplift variations along the strike of the fault and use a synchronous correlation technique to assign ages to palaeoshorelines, facilitating calculation of uplift rates and the fault throw‐rate. Uplift rates in the hangingwall increase from 0.4 mm/yr in the centre of the fault to 0.89 mm/yr beyond its SW fault tip, suggesting 0.5 mm/yr of fault related subsidence, which implies a throw‐rate of 0.63 ± 0.02 mm/yr, and significant seismic hazard. Overall, we emphasise that upper plate extension and related vertical motions complicate the process of deriving information on the subduction/collision process, such as coupling and slip distribution on the subduction interface, parameters that are commonly inferred for other subduction zones without considering upper plate deformation.
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1