ADRIA LITHOSPHERE INVESTIGATION ALPHA - Cruise No. M86/3 - January 20 - February 04, 2012 - Brindisi (Italy) - Dubrovnik (Croatia) (English)

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The Adriatic Sea and underlying lithosphere remains the least investigated part of the Mediterranean Sea. To shed light on the plate tectonic setting in this central part of southern Europe, R/V METEOR cruise M86/3 set out to acquire deep penetrating seismic data in the Adriatic Sea. M86/3 formed the core of an amphibious investigation crossing Adria from the Italian Peninsula into Montenegro/Albania. A total of 111 OBS/OBH deployments were successfully carried out, in addition to 47 landstations both in Italy and Montenegro/Albania, which recorded the offshore airgun shots. In the scope of this shoreline-crossing study, the aim is to quantify the shallow geometry, deep boundaries and the architecture of the southern Adriatic crust and lithosphere and to provide insights on a possible decoupling zone between the northern and southern Adriatic domains. Investigating the structure of the Adriatic crust and lithospheric mantle and analyzing the tectonic activity are essential for understanding the mountain-building processes that underlie the neotectonics and earthquake hazard of the Periadriatic region, especially in the vicinity of local decoupling zones.